Replacement employees who crossed picket lines to publish the Daily News during a bitter five-month strike said goodbye and made way for union members returning to work Thursdayunder the paper's new owner.

British publisher Robert Maxwell assumed control of the 72-year-old tabloid after the last of the paper's 10 unions ratified its contract Wednesday.Maxwell purchased the paper from the Tribune Co. at the eleventh hour, narrowly meeting a company deadline to either sell or close.