Post-Gazette workers strike near campus

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-In-Chief

Editor’s Note: Some voices within this story are Point Park graduates who had involvement with The Globe when they attended the university. These voices have no involvement with The Globe now, as they have long since graduated. There is a letter from our Editor-In-Chief, who also wrote this piece, on this piece in our opinion section, and we encourage you to read it.


Striking members of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette held a demonstration outside of Village Park on Monday. The demonstration was held on campus because the union that represents the striking workers, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, also represents Point Park’s full-time faculty.


“We are one union, we represent the newsroom employees of the Post-Gazette, and we also represent the full time faculty members at Point Park,” Andrew Goldstein, typically the K-12 education writer for the Post-Gazette and a Point Park alumni, said. “The faculty members invited us to come over, and we thought that this would be a good place to get some publicity.”


The strike began last week after members of the union voted to authorize an unfair labor practice strike. They join members of the unions representing production, distribution, and advertising who began striking earlier this month in response to what they view as unfair labor practices.


“Our goal is to bring our strike to the city of Pittsburgh,” Alex McCann, the secretary of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, said. “We’ve been picketing outside of the North Shore newsroom since we walked out on strike on Tuesday, but we’ve been coming Downtown to various locations to try and come directly to the public to make everyone aware of our message.”


Striking members of the newsroom have not had a contract in five years, since 2017.


“Almost everybody that we deal with, when we say that we haven’t had a contract in five years, their eyes get big, because that doesn’t happen,” Ed Blazina, a transportation reporter and Point Park graduate from the class of 1978, said. “We actually have not had an across-the-board raise for 15 years.”


The Post-Gazette declared an impasse in contract negotiations in 2020, which led to a hearing by the National Labor Relations Board. The ruling from the hearing was expected in January but has yet to be delivered.


“We currently await the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board regarding the Newspaper Guild’s claim of unfair labor practices by the Post-Gazette and are confident that the company will prevail,” Allison Latcheran, Post-Gazette spokesperson, wrote in a public statement on behalf of the company. “We welcome our employees back at any time.”

Because of the impasse, Block Communications has not negotiated with the Post-Gazette since 2020.


“We want to get the Block family back to the bargaining table,” Melissa Tkach, a striking Post-Gazette worker, said. “About two years ago was the last time that we met.”


Blazina said that he would rather go on strike to improve conditions at the Post-Gazette than get a new job because he is passionate about his job.


“People ask me, ‘why are you still doing this work, then?’ It’s what I like to do,” Blazina said. “We tell stories about Pittsburgh every day… I should have been out the other day when the President was at Fern Hollow, but I had to be on strike.”


McCann says that the strike should not “dissuade” any communications students at Point Park from pursuing a career in the industry.


“To young and upcoming journalists who are thinking about entering the field… I will be the first to admit that it is a difficult time for media in general,” McCann said. “Don’t let that dissuade you. If you believe that journalism is the best career for you, then pursue it, absolutely pursue it. There are job opportunities, and the work we do still matters. Yeah, it’s a difficult time, but we believe very strongly in journalism. We believe very strongly in democracy, we believe in Pittsburgh, and that’s why we’re on strike.”

Two members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh during the demonstration. Photo by Jake Dabkowski.