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Saturday: All Giant Eagle, GetGo locations shutting down for “employee discussion”

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle has announced they are halting the sales of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette after two journalists were pulled from protest coverage.

Journalists Alexis Johnson and Michael Santiago were both taken off any assignments related to recent protests in the area. The decision was made by leaders at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Giant Eagle posted on Facebook, saying in part, "In western Pennsylvania, we have also made the decision to halt sales of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette due to recent actions by the publication. It is critical that we uphold the values that have defined Giant Eagle for nearly 90 years. These measures will remain in place until the publication demonstrates an equal commitment to all those in the communities it serves.

We must take every opportunity to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. We will slip up. We will make mistakes. But as long as we are open, honest and sincerely listen to one another, we will make positive, long-lasting change."

The company also said they have partnered with the Giant Eagle Foundation to contribute $350,000 to support social justice causes.

All of its Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo locations will be closed between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. this Saturday, June 13 to “engage our Team Members in a discussion about our personal experiences and what steps can be taken to affect change in ourselves and in our communities.”

You can read the full statement in the Facebook post below:

It is impossible to understand all the senseless deaths of African Americans, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor,...

Posted by Giant Eagle on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

On Monday during a news conference, Johnson said she was taken off after the paper claimed she showed bias following something she posted on social media.

Her tweet had been retweeted nearly 60,000 times and nearly 200,000 people liked it. Not all who read it were in agreement, though.

Johnson was asked if the tweet was appropriate.

“I do think so because I didn’t say Pittsburgh. I didn’t name the city. I didn’t say look what happened in Pittsburgh. Those Kenny Chesney pictures could’ve been pulled from anywhere Kenny Chesney travels across the country honestly, and I absolutely don’t see anything wrong with what I said,” she replied.

Michael Santiago said he was pulled from protest coverage without explanation.

“I haven’t heard from management about why I was taken off. I got a phone call on Friday from a coworker and all she said was that I was off, and if I had any issues with it, to just reach out to our editors,” he said.

Newspaper guild president Michael Fuocco said the decision to pull Johnson and Santiago from coverage was unconscionable.

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