Newspaper Unions Reach Agreement

PICKET lines came down Saturday after a tentative agreement was reached for striking workers of San Francisco's two daily newspapers.

The proposal could end a strike that began Nov. 1, when 2,600 reporters, salespeople, printers, and delivery drivers walked off the job after more than a year of fruitless negotiations over salaries and other issues.

One person died and several were injured during the strike against the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle, the first walkout since a 52-day strike 26 years ago. Workers were expected to vote on the contract yesterday and may return to work today.

The five-year contract proposal gives workers an average increase in wages, pension and welfare plans of 3 percent a year, or about $105 a week, union spokesman Steve Chin said.

Early in the strike, workers sought a 3.5 percent raise; management had offered a 2.46 percent increase. One striking trucker died a week ago when he was electrocuted, apparently trying to cut power to one of the papers' distribution plants.

The tentative agreement was announced early Saturday by the office of Mayor Frank Jordan, who stepped into the dispute. ``This has been a long and tiring process,'' Mr. Jordan said. ``All San Franciscans, myself included, look forward to seeing the Chronicle and Examiner back on doorsteps and in the news racks.''

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