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To Our Sisters and Brothers at the San Francisco Chronicle:
by Kate DeSmet kdesmet@comcast.net

TEN YEARS AGO THIS month our strike began against Gannett and Knight Ridder, owners of the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. You stood in solidarity with us, sending us assistance and support and we have never forgotten. Now you are engaged in a struggle for fair and decent contracts with the same CEO that we had to deal with: Frank "Darth" Vega. Vega worked hard in Detroit to get rid of the newspaper unions; he employed legions of security goons, paid thousands to supply local police with tear gas, pepper spray, and riot training. Vega spared no expense to break the unions. You face the same opponent, but you need to know that the Detroit unions never backed down, never gave up, and never went away. Vega had to back down, Vega had to give up trying to destroy the unions, and Vega went away! Workers inside the Detroit newspapers have union contracts, grievance procedures, and pay increases because the newspaper strikers stood strong for many years. The San Francisco newspaper workers stood with us and now, you need to know, we are standing with you. You'll hear a lot of words from officials and politicians. But take it from fellow workers who walked the walk in Detroit, from those of us who stayed out and fought it out with pride: You are not alone because we've "got your back."

In solidarity forever,
The Detroit Newspaper strikers and supporters



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