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This Day In History, 1990

In memory of my father, Joel David Burstein (1929-1990)

Daily News Strike Leads to Fatality

In the fall of 1990 the unions of the New York Daily News had been working under an expired contract for months. The newspaper, owned by the Chicago Tribune Company, had been constantly losing money for many years, and rumors were that the Tribune company was looking for a way to fold the paper. On Wednesday, October 24, 1990, the members of the pressman's union found themselves locked out, which lead to a major strike of all the unions.

A little over a week after the strike began, one of the proud members of the Newspaper Guild, copy editor Joel David Burstein, was picking up his strike fund check in the union's office when he collapsed of a heart attack. He was later pronounced dead at St. Clare's Hospital.

Burstein's tragedy was compounded by the fact that his own mother had died just the day before. One of Burstein's last acts was to post a notice about his mother's death at the union office, asking for people to give donations in her name.

The strike was resolved in March with the purchase of the newspaper by magnate Robert Maxwell. On Wednesday, March 20, 1991, the unions marched back to the Daily News building, led by Joel Burstein's five sons -- David, Daniel, Jonathan, Michael, and Joshua -- who carried the union's banner proudly.

Comments

Wow. I had no idea that your father was involved in that. I was living in NH at the time and barely remember it happening (it wasn't exactly front-page news in the Nashua Telegraph).

A tragic day, indeed.
I'm sorry. Take a look at my journal for the flip side.
My sympathies. Please consider this a pebble for his marker.
What an amazing story, Michael. How extraordinary! Your father would be very proud.

I had no idea you were one of five sons! Wow.
Very hard day for you. I'm so sorry. Although voting on his yartzeit seems like a fitting memorial.

Much hugs.
Wow, what a hard day for your family.
Condolences once again...
Wow! I am glad I have learned this about you. Here's to your father.
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