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Thomas Bernick Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP001838
The Thomas Bernick Papers contains court documents, meeting materials, photocopies of articles about the strike, and a full series of the Alliance Strike Bulletin, a newspaper run by the Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions. Additionally, this collection holds correspondence, circulation numbers, strike-related periodicals, and meeting materials for the Workers Justice Committee, as well as many of the flyers and pamphlets distributed throughout the strike, both for and against it.

Dates

  • 1995-2001

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

5 Linear Feet (5 SB)

Overview

Thomas Bernick was a journalist and active protester of The Detroit Newspaper Strike, which began on July 13, 1995 and lasted until 2000. An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 workers from six local unions joined the strike and participated in the lengthy battle against the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press in the courtroom. Battle outside the courtroom took place as well, with protesters making numerous reports of violence by a private security firm and the Sterling Heights Police Department. Journalists fought back by creating their own paper in 1996, the Detroit Sunday Journal. The Journal achieved a circulation of 300,000 in its first year and was widely hailed for reporting throughout its run, which ended in 1999. In 1997, the unions ordered an unconditional return to work, but the newspapers chose to keep their replacement workers on staff, stating they would only hire strikers as positions opened up. The strike finally came to an end in 2000, but many of the strikers did not return to work for the newspapers, and the circulation of both the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press was greatly reduced from that of the 1980s and early 1990s.

History

Thomas Bernick was a journalist and active protester of The Detroit Newspaper Strike, which began on July 13, 1995 and lasted until 2000. An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 workers from six local unions joined the strike and participated in the lengthy battle against the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press in the courtroom. Battle outside the courtroom took place as well, with protesters making numerous reports of violence by a private security firm and the Sterling Heights Police Department. Journalists fought back by creating their own paper in 1996, the Detroit Sunday Journal. The Journal achieved a circulation of 300,000 in its first year and was widely hailed for reporting throughout its run, which ended in 1999. In 1997, the unions ordered an unconditional return to work, but the newspapers chose to keep their replacement workers on staff, stating they would only hire strikers as positions opened up. The strike finally came to an end in 2000, but many of the strikers did not return to work for the newspapers, and the circulation of both the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press was greatly reduced from that of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Arrangement

Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.

Acquisition

The Thomas Bernick Papers were donated to the Reuther Library by Thomas Bernick on July 27, 2004.

Related Material

Newspaper Guild Local 22: Detroit Records, Detroit Typographical Union Local 18 Records, Nancy E. Dunn Papers, Action Coalition of Strikers Records,

Transfers

Floppy disk containing two images of flyers transferred to Reuther's Digital Repository

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Meghan McGowan on January 27, 2015.
Title
Guide to the Thomas Bernick Papers
Author
Processed by Meghan McGowan; encoded by Meghan McGowan .
Language of description
Description is inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA