NEW YORK — Daily News managers published and tried to distribute a newspaper today using non-union replacement drivers who ran a gantlet of protesters throwing rocks and bottles.
Police reported at least two minor injuries and at least 11 arrests, including two men held after a delivery truck was firebombed.
Copies of today's paper, reduced to only one edition, were trucked out of the printing plants--about three hours late--under police escort.
It was not immediately known how many were printed and delivered, but the News was absent from some mid-town Manhattan and suburban railroad station newsstands during rush hour. The paper said 920,000 copies were distributed Thursday morning, down from its normal daily circulation of 1.18 million.
Half a dozen pickets marched outside the News headquarters this morning, and union leaders stood outside to direct workers to go home.
The strike called Thursday night at the nation's second-largest metropolitan daily newspaper capped a 10-month dispute over management's efforts to gain more control over money-losing operations.
Police in riot gear escorted delivery trucks out of a Daily News printing plant in Kearny, N.J., through hundreds of strikers and their supporters hurling bricks, stones, eggs and bottles.
One truck was firebombed in neighboring Harrison, N.J., but no injuries were reported. Two men were arrested shortly afterward in Kearny on charges of possession of three Molotov cocktails.
Another man was arrested for allegedly throwing rocks at a truck at the Kearny plant. "He was the only one we could catch," Kearny police Capt. Anthony Gouveia said. "It was ugly out there."
Strikers broke the windows of a News truck in Brooklyn, and the driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of facial injuries, a police spokeswoman said.
She said other strikers pelted a News truck in Manhattan, causing the driver to lose control and hit two parked cars. A security guard inside the truck sustained minor injuries in a scuffle with two strikers.
Six people were arrested, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct, outside the Long Island plant, and two were arrested outside the Brooklyn plant, where a fireworks-style explosive was ignited beneath a truck.
Eight unions with about 1,800 members went on strike, and the Newspaper Guild said its 800 members would honor picket lines, including one at the main News offices in Manhattan.
Management crews produced today's edition. Its lead headline concerned a police crackdown on drug dealing near city schools, but a smaller headline beneath it said "Unions Strike News" and had a picture of a News delivery truck burned after a dispute Thursday that triggered the strike.
Contracts for all 10 of the newspaper's unions ran out in March, and negotiations have stalemated.
John Sloan, Daily News vice president for labor relations, said replacement workers from other Tribune Co. papers in Orlando, Fla., and Chicago were being flown to New York.
New York's other two tabloids planned to increase their press runs today. The New York Post, which normally prints about 625,000 copies, expected a press run of 850,000 to 860,000. New York Newsday was expected to increase its press run from about 250,000 to about 400,000.