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Detroit Newspaper Strife Escalates As 17 Arrested

Mon., Oct. 2, 1995

Police and guards clashed with picketers outside two Detroit Newspapers distribution centers early Sunday, and at least 17 people were arrested.

“Obviously things have escalated,” said deputy police chief Benny Napoleon. “We’ve had several fires, several incendiary devices explode. … Things are definitely getting a little more heated, no question.”

At least two officers suffered minor injuries when they were struck by picket signs, and the union said four protesters were injured.

The clashes followed peaceful protests late Saturday at two printing plants. Last weekend, police dismantled a homemade bomb outside a distribution center.

Six unions representing 2,500 employees struck on July 13 after management refused to extend contracts during negotiations. Detroit Newspapers oversees business operations at The Detroit News, owned by Gannett Co. Inc., and the Detroit Free Press, owned by Knight-Ridder Inc.

The main issues are wages and staffing levels. The newspapers are publishing with managers, replacement workers and employees who have crossed the picket lines.

Most of those arrested early Sunday were accused of malicious destruction of property.


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