U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, speaking on the House floor Friday, recognized striking Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers, now more than 100 days into their job action.
He also discussed the decision released Thursday by a judge from the National Labor Relations Board that’s widely viewed as a sweeping victory for the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh.
“While I’m glad that a judge found Block Communications broke the law in the guild’s NLRB case,” Deluzio said, “the fight isn’t over.”
During the short speech, Deluzio stressed the importance of a free press in maintaining a healthy democracy. Journalists attempting to cover their communities face increasing difficulties as the news industry changes, workers are laid off and news organizations close or downsize — issues the congressman acknowledged.
“The destruction of small news outlets and consolidation in the industry are big problems for the freedom of press in our country, including in Western Pennsylvania,” he said. “We need strong, independent journalism.”
He mentioned one example of consolidation in Pittsburgh — the purchase of Pittsburgh City Paper by the owners of Block Communications Inc. City Paper focuses its coverage on local news and issues.
“The NewsGuild/CWA has raised concerns about this acquisition and its impact on competition, workers and journalistic independence,” he said. “I share those concerns.”
Deluzio also commended the striking journalists for their efforts to “continue to keep the community informed through their strike publication, the Pittsburgh Union Progress.”