All of this union and striking talk has made me super nostalgic for the 1992 Disney movie, The Newsies. It tells (or rather, sings) the story of the New York newsboys strike of 1899 in a toe-tapping kind of way. Song, dance, unions, protests, aaaand journalism? Not really sure a movie could get any better. Add some environmental and civil rights activism, and I’m in heaven.
The newsboys went on strike, refusing to continue selling “The Evening World” and “The Evening Journal” because the cost to the newsboys increased from 50 cents to 60 cents per hundred papers.
The beauty of the story, what makes it warrant its own Disney movie, is that the rag tag bunch of newsboys won! Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the publishers of the two papers, agreed to buy back any papers the newsboys were not able to sell, letting them to continue making a living wage. It’s an amazing story that adds a little bit of musical hope to today’s fights for Wisconsin workers and Verizon employees.