One Year on the Picket Line, Striking Post-Gazette Workers Call for Enforcement of Federal Law Against Corporate Owners
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Today, striking newspaper and production workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette marked one year on strike, a somber anniversary that union leaders say is a testament to the courage of their members. The workers have been on strike since October 6, 2022. In a year of unprecedented labor activism, the Post-Gazette workers have maintained their solidarity through 2023’s longest ongoing strike.
The Post-Gazette has violated the law and continues to refuse to comply with the court’s orders to restore the terms of the previous contract and make the workers whole. In January, Judge Geoffrey Carter ruled the Post-Gazette violated federal labor law by unilaterally imposing conditions against its unionized editorial workers. The National Labor Relations Board found that the Post-Gazette bargained in bad faith, substantiating charges of Unfair Labor Practices against the company.
“We are tired of corporate greed. We are tired of CEO’s getting rich off our backs. It’s time to put a stop to the Block’s unlawful treatment of our workers,” CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. told a crowd of hundreds of supporters protesting outside the Post-Gazette newsroom, today. “Know that I will do everything I can to unite our union and our country around this fight.”
Post-Gazette owners, Block Communications and its executives, are in blatant non-compliance with the board’s and the court’s orders. There is nothing preventing the company from complying with the court’s order to restore the terms of the 2017 contract. The rule of law suffers when laws are not enforced. The NLRB recognized this when it acted to arrest executives of Haven Salon & Spa for refusing to comply with the board’s and court’s orders.
Striking worker and President of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, Zack Tanner called on the NLRB to enforce its order and direct the U.S. Marshals to arrest the Blocks for non-compliance with the court’s lawful order. “Given that we have them, if it takes the U.S. Marshals detaining the Blocks to get dignified working conditions that respect the workers and the people of Pittsburgh, then that’s what’s deserved,” said Tanner.
“The Blocks have violated the federal labor laws of this country and shown that they would rather see families out on these streets than to forgo that next designer bag,” said Ameenah Salaam, CWA Secretary-Treasurer. “In Pittsburgh, we find the spirit of solidarity and resilience. Our strikers are fighting not just for themselves, but for every worker across the nation who has earned a fair wage, dignity and respect.”
The Post-Gazette’s continued unlawful actions deprive the people of Pittsburgh of an important source of local news and information. Elected officials, including Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.) and Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), joined community leaders in representing the public’s interest in supporting the striking newspaper workers.
“When [the journalists of the Post-Gazette] won a Pulitzer, did you get a raise?,” Sen. Fetterman rhetorically asked the crowd. “No! [The Blocks] are not doing you right, and not doing right by the people of Pittsburgh.”