As the unions that represent the production, distribution and advertising workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette commence a strike in response to the termination of their health care coverage and failed negotiations with the Post-Gazette and its parent company, Block Communications Inc., to reach an agreement on a new plan, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh stands with these striking workers in their fight for fair, affordable and comprehensive health care to allow them to care for themselves and their families.
The Post-Gazette’s failure to offer a reasonable health care plan to the diligent and experienced workers who sell its ads, make its presses run and deliver its newspapers every single week is just another reminder that the Post-Gazette and its owners, John and Allan Block, care more about pinching pennies than treating their employees fairly.
In conjunction with the production, distribution and advertising strike, the Newspaper Guild is announcing that its members will immediately begin withholding their bylines from any physical or digital publication and will undertake other actions to stand in solidarity with our colleagues.
“The workers of the Newspaper Guild stand with the production, distribution and advertising unionized workers at the Post-Gazette as they fight for a fair and just health care plan,” said Zack Tanner, Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh president. “The Block family has shown time and time again that they would rather pay their attorneys outrageous fees than give the workers who produce the product one benefit at all.”
Guild writers, editors, photographers, artists, designers and other journalists will remove their names from their work to indicate that they support the strike — and that they will not stand idly by as their co-workers are stripped of their health care coverage by the Post-Gazette’s multimillionaire ownership.
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh is asking the community to stand with the production unions at the Post-Gazette currently on strike.
Newspaper Guild members are all too familiar with the miserly management of John and Allan Block, who for years have made it abundantly clear that they would rather spend millions to hire high-priced attorneys from Tennessee to try to bust their workers’ unions instead of reaching fair contracts with the employees whose hard work produces the news.
“Two years ago, we decided to embark on a legal strategy to fight the unlawful impasse and unilateral working conditions that the Post-Gazette forced upon its journalists,” said Tanner. “While our National Labor Relations Board hearing is still ongoing, this union will be standing strong behind our union colleagues as they enact a major job action against the Post-Gazette.”
The Newspaper Guild’s last contract with the company expired in March 2017, and unproductive contract bargaining continued until July 27, 2020, when the Post-Gazette illegally declared an impasse to bargaining and unilaterally imposed working conditions that lowered wages, reduced benefits and stripped away years of bargained protections for the 100-plus newsroom journalists represented by the Newspaper Guild.
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh calls on the community to contact the publisher of the Post-Gazette, John Robinson Block, at firstname.lastname@example.org and request that he end the labor strife at the newspaper.