On Wednesday, union members at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette said they would decide whether to approve a strike. More than 120 members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh will cast secret ballots by mail in the coming days to decide whether the newsroom employees should strike.
The decision to do so came after more than three years of stalled contract negotiations between the company and the several unions at the newspaper. On Tuesday, the Post-Gazette published a statement saying it would implement a new contract because negotiations were at an impasse.
"As a result, the newspaper has implemented certain portions of its final contract offer to the Guild," the statement reads. "Included in the new contract offer are wage increases totaling 8% over three years. Eligible bargaining unit employees will now participate in the company's insurance plans and will share in the cost of those plans as is normal with nearly every other company and organization."
A union representative for the Guild refuted that claim, saying they were willing to negotiate.
A lawyer for the Guild said Wednesday that what the company is implementing will devastate employee benefits.
"Employees will have no seniority, no guarantee of health insurance, [the company] can change it at any time," said Joe Pass, Sr. "The work day can be any time they want."
Employees have also lost the ability to bring grievances through arbitration.