In October of last year, over 100 workers represented by five labor unions—including production, distribution, advertising, and accounts receivable staff—walked off the job on an unfair labor practice strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The strike began after the newspaper's management, Block Communications, which is owned by the Block family, cut off health insurance for employees on Oct. 1. As Michael Sainato reports at The Guardian, "The strike is unfolding in a US media industry that has seen widespread layoffs over the past decade with newspapers hit especially hard. Workers at the Post-Gazette have been working without a union contract since March 2017, claiming they haven’t received any pay raises in 16 years."
Workers are approaching their sixth month on strike, and it has been a long, ugly fight. This past weekend, according to a press release from The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, "A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette scab truck driver assaulted two striking workers at a South Side picket line late Saturday night. The unprovoked assault sent one striker to the hospital with a broken jaw, which required surgery. Both workers were stripped of their health insurance by actions of the PG." In this episode, we talk with Steve Mellon, a veteran multimedia journalist and staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Time, and USA Today. We talk with Steve about his career in journalism, how the industry has changed over the past 30 years, what it's been like to be on strike for the past five months, and what we can all do to help.
Additional links/info below...
- Steve's Twitter and Website
- Donate to Support Striking Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Workers
- The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram
- The Pittsburgh Union Progress website, Twitter page, and Instagram
- Steve Mellon, University of Pittsburgh Press, After the Smoke Clears: Struggling to Get By in Rustbelt America
- Michael Sainato, The Guardian, "Pittsburgh Newspaper Workers Go on Strike Over Unfair Labor Practice"
- Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Striking Workers Need Our Help to Keep Fighting in 2023"
- Jamie Wiggan, Pittsburgh City Paper, "Striking Worker Struck in the Face as Post-Gazette Labor Angst Spills Over"
- Jordana Rosenfeld, Pittsburgh City Paper, "Judge Finds Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Management Violated Workers' Rights"
Permanent links below...
- Working People Patreon page
- Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
- Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
- Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song