PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers from multiple unions walked off the job early Thursday.
These employees include mailers and typographers represented by the Communications Workers of America along with members of the Teamsters and Pressmen’s Union.
The workers, who we saw protesting outside of their production building in Clinton, decided to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
A release from Communications Workers of America said in part, “The workers, who are responsible for designing, printing, distributing, advertising sales and accounts receivables at the newspaper, have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since March 2017. Despite extensive negotiations, Post-Gazette management has refused to engage in good faith bargaining, and the workers have not had a pay raise in 16 years.”
The Post-Gazette also eliminated the employees’ health insurance this past weekend, according to the CWA.
“The workers’ health insurance was terminated on October 1 after Block Communications, the owners of the Post-Gazette, refused to pay an additional $19 per employee per week to maintain the existing coverage. The workers currently pay over 8% of their wages toward insurance premiums, amounting to approximately $7300 per year. Out of pocket costs for the high-deductible plan proposed by the Company can cost a family as much as $14,400 or more per year,” the CWA said in the release.
In a statement from Allegheny Fayette Central Labor Council President Darrin Kelly, he says, “We absolutely support our brothers and sisters walking out, and we will stand with them until the Post-Gazette does the right thing, returns to the table, and does right by the workers who make this company’s money.”
The director of marketing at the Post-Gazette shared this brief statement:
“The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has offered the unions several options that would ensure the continuation of the affected union employees’ healthcare. One of these proposals 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.”
The Post-Gazette told us it will continue to publish seven days a week -- but one of the employees on strike told us the main section of the paper did not get produced so there won’t be a paper on Thursday.
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