Post-Gazette union votes ‘no confidence’ in management
In a move deemed “unprecedented,” the unionized employees who represent a majority of the Post-Gazette’s newsroom voted Monday that they have “no confidence” in their executive editor, publisher or parent company, Block Communications Inc.
Starting Wednesday, as a form of protest, the newsroom’s journalists will withhold their names from all stories, photos and graphics, a statement from the union said.
Employees also plan to wear buttons and stickers with phrases such as “No confidence,” “Blocks: Cruelty Incarnate” and “Good Managers Punished Here.”
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, which represents 139 employees at the P-G, has a long litany of concerns, including allegations of a hostile work environment, retaliation against union-related efforts and the “escalating unconscionable treatment of employees, union members and managers alike,” according to a news release issued by Michael A. Fuoco, the Guild’s president.
Fuoco cited the forced or “desperate exodus” of five managers and 16 journalists who have left the Post-Gazette in the past six months.
“We must take a stand against this orchestrated attack on the very soul of the newspaper we love,” Fuoco said.
A Block spokesperson could not be reached for comment late Monday.
Tensions have been mounting among the Post-Gazette’s newsroom employees in recent months and years.
The Guild has accused Block of unfair labor practices and slammed the decision to reduce the newspaper’s 233-year-old print publication from seven to three days a week.
In 2017, the Post-Gazette stopped home delivery to some customers, including those in Westmoreland County, to reduce costs.
Newsroom employees have not had a raise in 14 years, Fuoco said.
The news organization’s roots date to the late 1700s, when The Pittsburgh Gazette became the first daily newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The Block family of the Toledo-based Block Communications acquired the Post-Gazette in 1926.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .