The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Detroit newspapers had told striker:
“Not over our dead body”

Apr 1, 2002

Gary Rusnell was one of the activists of the strike against the two major papers, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, which began in July of 1995 and lasted nearly 5 ½ years. On Labor Day weekend, September, 1996, Rusnell was one of 50 workers fired for supposed law-breaking during a sit-in at the Free Press’ downtown headquarters. Rusnell was given his job back by the NLRB, a ruling which has been upheld by several lower courts and by the full NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). The newspapers appealed the rulings each time.

After one ruling in Rusnell’s favor, in December of l999, the papers’ vice president of labor relations stated, “Gary Rusnell will come back inside over my dead body.”

This March, the U. S. Court of Appeals ruled that Rusnell was illegally fired and was to be reinstated and given full back pay and benefits immediately.

Instead, the Detroit papers announced they would probably appeal this latest ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

That labor relations guy surely was speaking for his bosses in 1999. And they haven’t changed a bit. Delay is the name of their game.