The 1962 New York City Newspaper Strike ran from December 8, 1962 until March 31 1963, lasting for a total of 114 days.
A preliminary action took place when The Newspaper Guild went on strike against the Daily News just after midnight on November 1, 1962. Guild vice president Thomas J. Murphy indicated that the Daily News had been singled out as the union's 1st target "because there we have had more aggravation, more agitation, more issues, more disputes & more anti-unionism from management." The Daily News was able to keep printing on November 2, 1962 by using the presses of the New York Journal American. Workers @ the Daily News settled their issues, accepting raises of $8 per week in talks mediated by United States Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz, with employees receiving an added $4.25 per week in the 1st year, with an additional $3.75 weekly in the subsequent year, allowing the paper to start with a print run of 1.5 million copies, short of it's nation-leading normal circulation of 2,075,000 copies.
On December 4 1962, negotiators representing the 9 major newspapers offered a deal that combined an $8 increase in wages & benefits spread over 2 years, combined with changes in work procedures that would cut costs for the papers. Union negotiators rejected the offer from the newspapers the following day, setting their requirement of a $16 weekly raise over 2 years & set a deadline of midnight in December 8 if an agreement could not be reached before then. Representatives of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service attempted to help both sides reach agreement on December 6, with "the public interest" cited as justifying federal intervention.
The strike began @ 2 AM on December 8, when workers from the New York Typographical Union walked out from the Daily News, New York Journal American, The New York Times, The New York Sun & New York World-Telegram. In addition, the New York Daily Mirror, New York Herald Tribune, New York Post & both the Long Island Star Journal & Long Island Press all suspended operations on a voluntary basis. The newspapers kept their offer of an $8 increase per week spread over 2 years, while the unions were looking for a $38.82 increase in the 2-year period.
A number of publications were created or benefited from the strike. The New York Review of Books was created during the strike, issuing it's 1st copies on February 21 1963, with circulation reaching 75,000 during the strike, before retreating to between 50 & 60 thousand after the strike was settled. The Brooklyn Eagle saw circulation grow from 50 thousand to 390 thousand before shrinking back to 154 thousand before it was hit with a deliverers' strike on June 27, 1963.
Leonard Andrews employed by a credit card company, the Uni-Serv Corporation, approached the company's customers about advertising in a publication he created called The New York Standard, the largest of several alternative papers published during the strike, reaching a peak circulation of more than 400,000 & appearing for 67 issues.
Ending the strikeEdit
4 papers had originally been the target of the strike, but 5 other papers suspended printing on a voluntary basis. The New York Post withdrew from the Publishers Association, resuming printing on March 4, 1963.
Mayor of New York City Robert F. Wagner, Jr., together with labor negotiator Theodore W. Kheel, were able to forge an agreement to end the strike under which the newspaper workers would receive wage & benefit increases of $12.63 per week. Kheel noted that the contracts for all 10 newspaper unions would expire on the same date in 1965, emphasizing the importance of addressing the festering labor issues.
An analysis performed by The New York Times showed that the 9 affected newspapers lost a total of more than $100 million in advertising & circulation revenues & that the industry's more than 19,000 employees lost $50 million in wages & benefits.
After the strike was ended, both the Times & Herald Tribune doubled their price to 10 cents, one of the factors that had cut readership. As of September 30 1963, circulation of 6 daily New York papers was down 11.9% on weekdays & 8.3% on Sundays based on reports from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The John F. Kennedy assassination in November 1963 helped bring readers back to newspapers.
The New York Daily Mirror, owned by the Hearst Corporation, shut down on October 15, 1963 & sold it's name & goodwill to the Daily News. The Mirror's management blamed the closure on the effects of the strike aggravating existing problems @ the paper.
Cue magazine (now part of New York magazine) saw weekly circulation rise by 35,000 a year after the strike started & TV Guide had seen a jump of 350,000. Time saw New York City circulation rise by 10%.