PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Labor Day Parade is a demonstration of the power of unions and organized labor.
Some unions representing the employees of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are facing an uphill battle this month.
On the Boulevard of the Allies on Monday, those whose job it is to report on the region are struggling.
“This is our third Labor Day we’re celebrating without a contract, which is nothing to celebrate,” said Mike Fuoco, president of the Newspaper Guild at the Post-Gazette.
The guild has slogged through a decade of staffing and wage cuts.
And even though the paper distinguished itself this year by winning the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Tree of Life shooting, the future promises more of the same.
Still, the reporters, editors, photographers and graphic artists are calling for fairness.
“We deserve dignity in the workplace, and it’s time to settle this thing,” Fuoco said.
But while the ownership won’t say how much, the paper has long been losing money.
As for cost savings, it’ll be reducing its print edition from five to three days a week at the end of the month.
The paper is owned by Block Communications.
With fewer papers to deliver, sources say it aims to reduce its Teamster drivers and route manager from 110 to 80 and make the remaining part-time.
“We have no idea. We have no idea where they’re going. It is, what it is,” said Teamster Joe Barbano.
There’s some talk of a Teamster strike or job action, but members KDKA’s Andy Sheehan spoke with concede that would be counterproductive, hastening the paper’s ultimate aim of eliminating print entirely and become an all-digital news operation.
The situation leaves the labor union with few options.