Striking NewsGuild-CWA members at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and their supporters held a rally outside of the C-SPAN office in Washington, D.C., demanding the immediate removal of Allan Block, Chairman and CEO of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s parent company, Block Communications, from C-SPAN’s Board of Directors. Last December, CWA’s Executive Board sent a letter to C-SPAN calling on the company to eject Block from its Board, citing his union-busting activities, including his refusal to provide workers at the Post-Gazette with basic necessities like healthcare and raises, as well as swearing at and slapping a union representative with a bag of food after being asked why he refuses to negotiate in good faith. His behavior also includes supporting the January 6 insurrection and attempting to sway reporting to be pro-Trump.
Representative Summer Lee (D-Pa.), who was one of the first to show solidarity with the strikers by refusing to speak with the Post-Gazette, addressed the crowd. “If you have been paying attention, if you have been listening to what’s going on when we talk about threats to democracy, as we stand out here in front of C-SPAN…we know that the press is the cornerstone of democracy,” Lee said. “But if our workers are being mistreated in that process, then who’s going to be there on the front lines to uncover so much of what happens in [Congress] if we can’t count on our sisters and brothers in labor to be there on the spot day in and day out?”
“I am really awed and inspired by our Pittsburgh strikers. You all have been so brave and so courageous standing up for community journalism, standing up for the news that your communities need and standing up for your rights, the rights that every worker has in the United States,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, who attended the rally.
“[T]oday, we are sending C-SPAN a message loud and clear: if you want to remain ethically appropriate, if you want to keep your respected profile, if you want to continue to do the work of getting every American insight into how our federal government runs – drop the Block,” added NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss, who also participated in the rally. The workers, who have been on strike for more than four months and launched a petition demanding Block’s removal from C-SPAN’s Board, were joined by CWA leaders including AFA-CWA International Vice President Keturah Johnson and other supporters.
Rep. Summer Lee with striking CWA Pittsburgh Post-Gazette members and supporters at a rally outside of the C-SPAN office in Washington, D.C. (Photo/Alexandra Wimley, Pittsburgh Union Progress)
Comic Book Workers United
Workers at Image Comics, members of Comic Book Workers United (CWA Local 7901), ratified their first contract on March 1 after a year of negotiations. The new contract includes a formal procedure to address issues at the workplace and structured annual wages which provide more transparency, a key goal for the bargaining team. The workers, who became the first comic book workers to form a union in the U.S. last January, are proud of their solidarity in the face of the company’s stalling tactics during negotiations and see this contract as the next step in their journey as a union. They intend to continue to build power and raise standards at Image Comics and across the industry.
ARC of Essex County
Public workers at ARC of Essex County, members of CWA Local 1037, who advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, overwhelmingly ratified a new contract. The new three-year contract includes higher wages, higher longevity bonuses, increased carryover vacation time and sick time, increased clothing allowance, and more. Click here for more details.
After almost a year of negotiations, CWA District 1 and 2-13 members at Thryv, Inc. (formerly Dex Media), a small business management platform, reached a tentative agreement for a new contract. The contract includes improvements to wages and working conditions, such as base salary increases, locality upgrades including a promotional base salary increase, a stock purchase plan, and the addition of Juneteenth as a recognized holiday. Read more here.
CWA Local 13000 members at Breezeline (formerly Atlantic Broadband) have reached a tentative agreement for a new contract that includes annual wage increases, improved standby and vacation allowances, an additional floating holiday, and more. The bargaining team also successfully fought back against several harmful proposals from the company. Read more here.