For 21 days, newsroom workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have been on strike as they fight to reach an agreement with PG management on a new contract.

And for 21 days, those striking PG workers have been fed exceptionally well on the picket line.

Like clockwork, lunch arrives — usually courtesy of another union in the NewsGuild-CWA — on a daily basis outside the PG newsroom on the North Shore, where picketers have gathered most days since the strike began on Oct. 18.

The perennial favorite? Pizza.

Striking workers have been treated to pies from across the city, ranging from pickle-topped slices from Voodoo Brewery right down the street to good ol’ pepperoni pizzas from Pizza Hut, courtesy of Sen. Bob Casey.

Striking PG photojournalist Pam Panchak grabs a slice of pepperoni pizza from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild while on the picket line Thursday. (Alex McCann/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Meat lovers’, veggie, cheese, pepperoni, the works — just about every conceivable pizza topping has made its way to North Shore Drive in recent days.

To mix things up, though, some lunches haven’t featured red sauce and cheese.

On Monday, the striking workers indulged in some Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches from Portillo’s — complete with gravy and two types of giardiniera — thanks to the Chicago News Guild.

Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh President Zack Tanner did his best imitation of a school lunchlady Thursday by donning a paper hat and gloves as he ladled beef into crispy rolls.

Other pizzaless lunches have featured hoagies from Peppi’s bought by the Minnesota Newspaper and Communications Guild and stuffed pitas donated by U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.

Later Thursday afternoon, dessert arrived in the form of cake and other sweets brought by Jill Santa, the wife of striking PG page designer and guild PG unit secretary John Santa.

And day by day, a growing pile of snacks — chips and cookies, candy and popcorn — and water has helped the picketers stay full between pizzas.

With full bellies, the striking PG workers are ramping up their efforts ahead of a planned contract bargaining session — the first in more than two years — with PG representatives next week.

Representatives for the company and the guild are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. on Nov. 14 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

PG management and the guild last met for contract negotiations in September 2020, some 3½ years after the last collective bargaining agreement expired in March 2017.

A return to good-faith bargaining is one of the guild’s demands to end the strike. Additionally, the guild is requiring that the PG end the impasse and revert to the terms of the prior CBA until a new one is reached, and that the company meet the health care needs of the other striking PG unions, who have been on their own strike since Oct. 6.

Alex is a digital news editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike.

Alex McCann

Alex is a digital news editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike.