By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s newsroom staff voted to authorize union leaders to call a strike at the paper.
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh voted 88-31 to strike. Now the executive council of the local’s union, the NewsGuild, has to approve the authorization for the strike. After that, it would go to the Communications Workers of America’s president, who has the final say.
Two other Communications Workers of America unions at the newspaper — Pittsburgh Typographical Union #7 and Mailers Local M-22 — have both unanimously authorized a strike.
Newspaper Guild of PIttsburgh members overwhelmingly vote 88-31 to strike the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. https://t.co/0ijOaRGycZ
— Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh 🗞 (@PGHGuild) August 10, 2020
“We want nothing more than to negotiate a mutually agreed upon settlement,” said Newspaper Guild president Michael Fuoco in a statement. “Should the company refuse to rescind the illegal changes to our working conditions, return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract for both sides, we are prepared to withhold our talent from the Post-Gazette, to effectively remove the newspaper’s heart and soul.”
It’s been a crazy three years at the Post-Gazette. They’ve faced embarrassing national headlines about employee-management relations, and at the same time, they won a Pulitzer.
For more than two centuries, the Post-Gazette has been a respected Pittsburgh newspaper. But recently, they’ve made national headlines following allegations of racism, harassment and unfair labor practices by management.
Fuoco told KDKA at the end of July they don’t want to go on strike.
“We’ve never wanted to go on strike,” he said. “We hope that by doing so, if we do, if the membership hopes to do that, then this will be a wake-up call to the company.”
The strike vote was prompted after the Post-Gazette declared an impasse in the negotiations and implemented parts of their final offer. The Post-Gazette, which partners with KDKA-TV, declined to talk on camera at the end of July, but released a statement.
The Post-Gazette said it has implemented certain portions of its final offer including wage increases totaling 8 percent over three years and said employees will now participate in the company’s insurance plans.
But Fuoco said the raise doesn’t nearly cover the pay cuts they’ve taken over the past 15 years or the increased costs of health insurance.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.