The New York Post will resume publication Monday, raising hopes for an early settlement of New York's 83-day newspayer strike. The afternoon tabloid closed voluntarily last Dec. 9 after a printer's strike closed down four other New York papers.
The Post's decision was interpreted in some quarters as a victory for the striking printers, since the resumption of printing by one paper may well cause four other publishers who closed voluntarily to reopen.
This in turn would force four papers closed by the strike to try to reach an early settlement with Local Six of the International Typographers Union. Bertram Powers, president of Local Six, stood beside the Post's publisher, Mrs. Dorothy Schiff, as she announced her decision yesterday.
Printers will return to the Post at pre-strike levels until a new contract is worked out. Powers had previously announced that he would send his typographers back to work on any of the nonstruck papers which agreed to reopen. The others are the Herald-Tribune, the Mirror, the Long Island Star-Journal, and the Long Island Press.
Although no other publishers announced plans to reopen, they left the door open. The Publishers Association of New York City issued a statement saying merely that Mrs. Schiff's decision "does not affect the firm determination of other publishers to press for a satisfactory settlement" with the ITU.
Mrs. Schiff's statement gave no reason for the resumption of publication, but officials of other New York papers said last night that the Post's financial difficulties were largely responsible.
"She's been paying the Post's losses out of her own pocket for years," one New York newspaperman told the CRIMSON, "and I guess she just couldn't afford to go on paying out salaries while not making any money."
Mrs. Shiff herself said at the beginning of the strike that a prolonged walkout might be disastrous for her paper. This week's issue of Time said that the strike "threatened the continued existence" of the "financially shaky" tabloid.
But the Post's economic troubles are over, at least for the duration of the strike. The paper's two afternoon rivals, the World-Telegram and Sun and the Journal-American were closed down by the walkout, along with the morning Times and Daily News.
Before the strike the Post had a circulation of 335,859, third among New York afternoon papers behind the World-Telegram and the Journal-American.
Mrs. Schiff's decision to reopen came after Mayor Robert Wagner canceled his plans to offer a solution to the strike and called another negotiating session for Friday. He said that both sides had asked for renewed negotiations and said the talks offered "some glimmer of hope."