Subversive Historian – 08/13/09

Newspaper Guild Strike of 1936

Back in the day on August 13th, 1936, a newspaper guild strike was called against the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. At the center of the dispute was the firing of two long-time employees by the management of the William Randolph Hearst owned daily. Editorial staff members of the P-I believed that the real reason behind the dismissal of the two had to do with their membership with the American Newspaper Guild union. As a result, they joined in solidarity with the strike effort. Hearst ultimately had to halt distribution of the P-I for a number of issues but did not budge on labor’s demands for three and a half months. In that time, staffers out on strike set up their own paper titled “The Guild Daily,” and sold 20,000 copies of its first issue! Many of Seattle’s labor organizations, in time, came to the defense of the newspaper guilders and Hearst finally relented settling on terms favorable to the workers.

Earlier this year, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased printing once more; only this time not as a result of a strike. Instead, the newspaper became the largest daily to go completely online. Perhaps it’s time for another edition of “The Guild Daily.”

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