Strikers close The Seattle Times for 94 days beginning on July 16, 1953.

  • By Dave Wilma
  • Posted 11/21/2000
  • Essay 2853

On July 16, 1953, The Seattle Times suspends publication for 94 days due to a strike by writers and editors organized in the American Newspaper Guild. Approximately 700 workers are affected. The 250 writers and editors are eventually joined in the walkout by five more craft unions. The paper resumes publication on October 19, 1953, after signing contracts with all bargaining units.

The American Newspaper Guild, Local 82 Seattle-Tacoma Chapter, sought a 7.3 percent wage increase. Senior writers earned $102 per week and editors earned $110 per week. The paper offered a approximately 3.5 percent raise. The old contract had expired on March 31, 1953 and the membership authorized a strike on April 30.

The Guild was joined on the picket line by unions representing web pressmen, mailers, stereotypers, photoengravers, and typographers whose contracts with the Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer had expired. Although both papers sign joint contracts with the unions, P-I workers did not strike.

The writers settled on October 3, 1953, for more than 6 percent in raises -- about $2.50 to $7.00 per week. On October 15, 1953, the Web Pressmen's Union settled with both papers on a $2.80 pay hike and a work week shortened from 37 hours to 36 hours. The Seattle Times resumed publication on October 19, 1953.


"Newsmen's Strike Brings Suspension of Seattle Times," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 17, 1953, p. 1, 11; "Guild Accepts Times Offer," Ibid., October 4, 1953, p. 1; "Printers OK Papers' Offer," Ibid., October 5, 1953, p. 3; "Times Begins Publication Again Monday," Ibid., October 16, 1953, p. 1.

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