Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh on strike: Day 3


Members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh have been on strike for three days now.

And every single day, our strength grows.

On Thursday, we had our biggest crowd yet outside the Post-Gazette newsroom on the North Shore.

Striking workers on the picket line Thursday morning.

An ever-growing crowd of on-strike PG workers — joined for the second straight day by several new strikers — marched outside the newsroom, making their voices heard with chants like, “Fair contract now!” and “When we fight, we win!”

In addition to the workers, a host of local lawmakers came out to show their support and stand in solidarity Thursday morning.

Those lawmakers joined the picket line, posed for photos and had plenty of great conversations with strikers.

Pittsburgh-area lawmakers and officials pose for a photo on the picket line Thursday. From left: Allegheny-Fayette County Labor Council President Darrin Kelly, state Rep. Jessica Benham, Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb, state Rep. Anita Astorino Kulik, state Rep. Nick Pisciottano, state Sen. Lindsay Williams, state Rep. Dan Miller, state Rep. Sara Innamorato, and state Rep. and U.S. House candidate Summer Lee.

In attendance were: state Reps. Jessica Benham, Anita Astorino Kulik, Sara Innamorato, Summer Lee, Dan Miller and Nick Pisciottano; state Sen. Lindsay Williams; Allegheny County Controller Corey O’Connor; former Pennsylvania state Auditor Eugune DePasquale; Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb; and Deputy City Controller Rachael Heisler.

The Guild thanks these lawmakers for coming out to join the picket line and stand with us!

A few hours later, the Guild was delighted to formally announce the creation of the CWA Pittsburgh Strikers Fund, a solidarity fund created to financially support the striking PG workers.

Donations to the Pittsburgh Striker Fund are being used exclusively to assist striking PG workers and their families who are facing difficult financial circumstances. The fund is being managed by the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia/TNG-CWA Local 38010 and The NewsGuild-CWA.

The NewsGuild-CWA immediately contributed $10,000 to the fund, and additional donations to the fund continued to roll in throughout the day.

“A union is a family,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss, who has joined the striking workers in Pittsburgh. “We stand for each other because we care about each other. This fund is in place to help those who hit extreme hardships so that we can take care of them.”

Guild member Steve Rotstein, left, NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss and others on the picket line Thursday.

Meanwhile, a small group of strikers once again headed into Downtown Pittsburgh, this time visiting the Market Square Farmers Market.

The group chatted with passersby about the strike and how the public can help to support the PG’s workers. They also snapped a quick group photo outside the Market Square Starbucks to show solidarity with Starbucks Workers United.

Striking workers and NewsGuild staffers pose outside the Market Square Starbucks on Thursday.

To cap off the day, a handful of striking Guild members attended “Off the Record” at the Byham Theater.

Those strikers set up a table in the lobby; spoke to attendees; and passed out handbills containing information about the strike, future actions and how the public can support the PG’s workers.

Guild members Melissa Tkach, left, and Andrew Goldstein take a selfie while Ed Blazina, rear, speaks to an “Off the Record” attendee.

When the show started, emcee Ken Rice made special note of what was happening at the PG — “a group that we all know is under tremendous strain right now, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh” — which received a loud cheer from the audience.

Special thanks to former Guild members R.J. Hufnagel and Sharon Eberson Axelrod, plus all the other “Off the Record” organizers, for giving the Guild a chance to spread our message.

On Friday, striking Post-Gazette workers will be outside the North Shore newsroom from 9 to 5. Additionally, we’ll have a special announcement about our soon-to-launch strike publication.

This post was updated Friday with a more complete list of lawmakers who attended Thursday morning.