Rusty editors, managers and replacement workers wrote, printed and delivered the New York Daily News on Saturday despite the absence of 2,400 employees in a strike marked by sporadic violence.

"The Fight For The News" read the paper's front page headline above a photo of strikers vandalizing a bus carrying replacement workers. Inside, there were ads to fill the strikers' jobs in all departments at the paper."New York's hometown paper is run by a bunch of out-of-towners. It's not right," said striker Joe Burgess, who has worked in the News art department since 1971.

News management said Saturday that about 100 permanent replacements had been hired already. Striking workers were welcome to return to their old jobs at their old salaries at any time until a permanent replacement is hired for that slot, said News vice president John Sloan.

"Any employee that wants to return can do so," Sloan said. "We have not fired anybody."

For editorial employees, the weekend was a time to consider the future. Sloan has said some temporary writers and editors were recruited from other Tribune Co. papers for temporary duty.

The paper normally operates with a small weekend staff, and Monday's edition will show whether the picket lines outside the News Building keep the news staffers away from their desks.

The News published and distributed 710,000 copies of the tabloid Saturday, about 200,000 short of a normal Saturday run, Sloan said. Copies of the paper remained difficult to find in certain areas of the city and the suburbs.