1945 printers' strike
The 1945 printers' strike was a labor stoppage organized by members of the Birmingham Typographical Union No. 104 which caused Birmingham's three major daily newspapers to suspend publication for five weeks between July 12 and August 16, 1945.
The owners of the Birmingham News, Birmingham Post and Birmingham Age-Herald rejected Union members' petition to include the laws of the International Typographical Union (ITU), adopted on January 1, as the governing principles of the relations between the parties.
Many Union members left the city in the early days of the strike, taking jobs at other newspapers. As the dearth of news continued, radio station WAPI-AM, assisted by a few idled Age-Herald reporters, posted I.N.S. wire stories in two large windows at Blach's department store, organized by various categories. The resulting crowds, according to Time magazine, "all but blocked traffic past the store."
Mayor Cooper Green, citing the "chaotic situation" created by the absence of newspapers, and appealing to the patriotism of both parties in the midst of the Allied victory in World War II, undertook to negotiate a compromise. In the main, it was the owners that yielded, allowing the ITU bylaws to be incorporated into their new contracts with the printers.
An agreement was reached to end the strike on August 14. The afternoon News and Post resumed publication with their Thursday, August 16 editions. The Age-Herald resumed publication on Friday morning, August 17.
- "Printers' Exit". (August 6, 1945). Time
- "Strike Ends" (August 14, 1945) The Birmingham News