Striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette took a break from the stressful and difficult tasks involved in a strike Thursday night and celebrated Christmas together.

During one of the oddest holiday seasons that many of them could imagine, striking newsroom, distribution, production and advertising workers got festive Thursday in the United Steelworkers building.

Workers enjoyed hors d’oeuvres before a dinner that included pierogies, pasta, chicken and vegetables.

After dinner, the union members sang some PG strike-themed carols, including “We Wish We Had a Contract” (to the tune of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”). Striking PG photojournalist Matt Freed and former Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh President R.J. Hufnagel collaborated to write four such carols satirizing the workers’ tough situation.

Striking workers are expected to largely take a break from actions over the coming days, with Christmas on Sunday and New Year’s only a week after that.

But before that, the workers made one final splash before Christmas.

On Thursday morning, workers called into C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” to reiterate their demand that Post-Gazette co-owner Allan Block be removed from the network’s board of directors.

Block, who has been on the C-SPAN board since 1999, has refused to negotiate fairly with workers, paid union-busting lawyers millions of dollars, and was caught on video swearing at and striking a union organizer who spoke to him at a rest stop.

On Monday, the Communications Workers of America — the parent union of three of the unions representing PG workers — sent a letter to C-SPAN calling for Block’s removal. That letter was signed by 20 of CWA’s top leaders, including President Chris Shelton, Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens and NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss.

“C-SPAN has earned that reputation through decades of dedication to high standards by remaining neutral,” the letter reads in part. “You and the board uphold those standards and have acted swiftly before to remove anything that could damage C-SPAN’s brand.”

The CWA’s letter was first reported Monday afternoon by Axios.

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.