Workers at the Post-Gazette strike over health insurance costs
Workers at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette are on the picket line this morning after employees represented by the Communications Workers of America and other staff went on strike over changes to their health insurance coverage.
The CWA represents newspaper staff responsible for printing, designing, distributing and advertising sales. According to the CWA, their members' health insurance was canceled on Oct. 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 union says its members have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since March 2017 and have not received a pay raise in 16 years.
“It is outrageous that Block Communications, a billion-dollar corporation, refuses to pay a small sum to maintain appropriate health insurance coverage for these hard-working employees,” said Ed Mooney, vice president of Communications Workers of America District 2-13, in a news release. “They have shown our members nothing but disrespect. Enough is enough. We will stay on strike until the Post-Gazette recognizes our value to the paper and stops violating our rights.”
In a statement, marketing director Allison Latcheran said, "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. It is not clear why this proposal, nor any of the others, is unsatisfactory to the unions and their membership. The Post-Gazette will continue to publish seven days a week."
The Newspaper Guild, which represents journalists at the Post-Gazette, said its members would withhold their bylines in a show of solidarity.
In conjunction with the production, distribution and advertising strike, the Newspaper Guild is announcing that its members will begin withholding their bylines from any physical or digital publication and will undertake other actions to stand in solidarity with our colleagues.— Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh 🗞 (@PGHGuild) October 6, 2022