McGuire on Media

Star Tribune teamsters, Michael Connelly and other rants


  1. Posted May 29, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink


    I was on the negotiating committee during that strike, and while you and I didn’t always agree on the economics of that contract, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of that situation relative to the Teamsters and the always-down-in-the-mouth mailers. From either side of the table — management or guild — the Teamsters called the ball on that strike. They gave us 28 days, I believe, then shut the door. We felt like fools. And it played right into management’s hands.

    The Guild should have known better, though. The Teamster behavior during that work stoppage was consistent with all their past behavior, right down to the legendary episode in the 1960s or 1970s — can’t remember which — when one of their negotiating thugs took a managment contract proposal, dropped it on the floor against the wall of the negotiating room and, literally, urinated on it. True story. What a bunch of pigs.

    The irony here: Driving trucks is now so far from the core mission and value proposition of newspapers — content creation and the development of proprietary (ha!) intellectual property — that the very existence of these ingrates is an unmitigated liability to the intrinsic value of the enterprise. Sell the trucks, the presses; subcontract the delivery. Take on, in Congress if necessary, the content aggregators, actually enforce copyright laws, enforce and extend libel protection to the internet. To hell with Teamsters. All of them.

    Hope you are well.

    Tony Carideo, CFA
    Minneapolis Star, 1980-1982
    Star Tribune, 1982-1994

  2. Hal Sanders
    Posted May 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tim and Tony

    As a retired Star-Tribune employee, I remember the ’82 strike vividly. You and Tony are correct, the mailers and drivers called the tune on that strike.

    The Guild was in negotiations, and fearing the Guild would settle, the mailers called a hasty meeting in the parking lot and voted to strike. The Guild then had no choice.

    Then 23 days later the Teamseters sold us out, saying either we settle or they would cross our lines. Hence, we essentially settled for the same contract we were offered before the strike. I also witnessed the “thirty pieces of silver.”

    I hope there are enough veteran Guild members left at the paper to remember the Guild’s shabby treatment at the hands of the truck drivers and mailers.

    Take care,
    Hal Sanders
    Minneapolis Star, 1972-1982
    Star Tribune, 1982-2004