The Local 3657 Executive Board sent the following letter today to the Chairman of the Post-Gazette in solidarity with the union workers there, who have overwhelmingly authorized a strike. Members are also encouraged to write their own letters of support if they choose.
Chairman, Block Communications Inc.
405 Madison Ave., Suite 2100
Toledo, Ohio 43604
August 21, 2020
Dear Mr. Block,
We are the leaders of the local union that represents 200 United Steelworkers staff members, many of whom live in the Pittsburgh area and read and subscribe to your newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
That’s why we write to you today – to urge you to settle a fair contract with the Post-Gazette’s union work force and avoid a costly, destructive and unnecessary strike.
The members of our union, USW Local 3657, rely on the quality, award-winning journalism produced and distributed by the union workers at the Post-Gazette, and we stand in solidarity with the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh – CWA Local 38061, and the other unions at your company, including Teamsters Local 211/205, Printing Pressmen GCIU Local 24M/9N, Pittsburgh Mailers Local 22-CWA and Pittsburgh Typographical Union #7-CWA.
These hard-working union members have bargained in good faith for three and a half years in an effort to reach a fair contract agreement with your company. In return, you have hired high-priced union-busting attorneys to attempt to break them. Yet, they have continued to devote their time and talents to producing some of the best journalism in the world, winning a 2019 Pulitzer Prize and being named Pennsylvania’s 2020 Newspaper of the Year.
In that same time period, your publication has failed to show the PG’s work force, or our community, the respect that both deserve. You have chosen to publish numerous offensive editorials, columns and cartoons, you have dismissed cherished local journalists with decades of experience and dedication to our city, and you have silenced the few minority voices on your staff during one of the most important civil and human rights movements of our lives.
In July, when you unilaterally imposed working conditions and illegally eliminated decades-old contract provisions, you pushed these workers to the brink of a completely avoidable strike. The Post-Gazette’s workers want nothing more than to reach a fair settlement and get back to the business of serving the city of Pittsburgh.
We call on you to immediately revoke your company’s unilateral contract changes, dismiss your union-busting attorneys, bargain a fair settlement with your work force, and restore the Post-Gazette to the place of decency and respect that it once held in our city.
Your workers are the heart of your company. We need them working for us, and we will stand with them for as long as it takes to achieve a fair and just contract settlement.
USW Local 3657 Executive Board