Post-Gazette journalists walk off job after strike vote

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newsroom workers voted to authorize a labor strike against the company and walked off the job on Tuesday.

The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh. which represents the workers, sent a notice to the newspaper’s management Monday, according to a news release. They are demanding a return to the bargaining table to reach a “fair contract” with their 101 journalists.

“The workers who produce the Post-Gazette are taking a stand against the hostile and illegal treatment at the hands of John and Allan Block,” said Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh President Zack Tanner. “We, the workers, are standing together today, ready to fight to win back our contract and work toward signing a new collective bargaining agreement that preserves the Post-Gazette for the Pittsburgh region.”

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh told Channel 11 the owners of the Post-Gazette refused to fairly bargain with them over the last few years, noting that the last contract that was negotiated expired in 2017. They said when Post-Gazette owners ended negotiations, they cut people’s wages, implemented a lesser healthcare plan and cut vacation time for veteran workers.

Journalists said this has created a difficult environment to work in and said all they want is a fair contract.

“Our reporters, editors, photographers and all of the other great journalists that make the Post-Gazette an award-winning newspaper and award-winning website — we want those people to get what they deserve,” said digital news editor Alex McCann.

Other Post-Gazette employees, including mailers and typographers, walked off the job Oct. 6, saying they had been working without a collective bargaining agreement since March 2017.

The Post-Gazette provided Channel 11 with the following statement:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will continue to serve the Pittsburgh community, our readers and advertisers, despite any work stoppage.

We currently await the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board regarding the Newspaper Guild’s claim of unfair labor practices by the Post-Gazette and are confident that the company will prevail. Over the past three years, Guild employees’ top wage scales have increased 8%. For the workers from the production, distribution and advertising unions currently on strike over healthcare, the Post-Gazette has offered several proposals, one of which included a 9% wage increase and enrollment in the company’s healthcare plan, which currently covers 2,600 Block Communications employees, including several unions, company executives and staff at the PG. None of these solutions were accepted.

We welcome our employees back at any time.

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