Those whose names appeared Tuesday: Reporter Paul Walsh, consumer reporter/columnist John Ewoldt, student reporter Carolyn Mann, sports columnist Pat Reusse and gossip columnist CJ.
Mann, a U of M student whose Strib assignment is part of a class, isn’t in the union so can’t withhold her name, since that’s a contractual right. (I suspect even the hardest-core unionistas are fine with that.)
The stakes are higher for Reusse and CJ. They are classified as columnists and their opinion pieces were more likely to be spiked if names weren’t attached. That moves the job action up a notch; unbylined reporting and graphics still appeared, after all. (Columnists such as Jon Tevlin, Gail Rosenblum and Neal St. Anthony weren’t scheduled to appear today.)
Other writers such as Michael Rand, whose “2-Days 2Cents” contains opinion but did run unbylined, don’t hold the columnist classification.
Walsh declined to comment, but Ewoldt provided this explanation:
“[A]s I said in the Friday meeting to vote on this issue, I think there are better ways to honor colleagues who are being terminated. [Arts writer] Mary Abbe suggested we pool money to take out an ad listing laid off employees (who are okay with their names being listed). I will contribute to that instead. To be fair, many writers who withdrew bylines will also be contributing, but I chose not [to] join the strike.”
It’s worth noting that the byline strike, while nearly universally observed, isn’t universally loved. I’ve heard from a few Stribbers (and members of the public) who view it as a pointless gesture, or one that generates unneeded negative publicity. Many others disagreed, obviously, supporting the tribute/protest or going along with colleagues who feel strongly that such a move deserved the public’s attention.
It will be interesting to see if workers, who took a pay cut last year, can raise the few thousand dollars for a tribute ad, and whether ownership will let it run.