More than 1,000 current and retired news media workers and others represented by the NewsGuild-CWA sent a letter Wednesday to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalists who are crossing the picket line during the ongoing strike at the paper, urging those journalists to “uphold the values of holding power accountable and minimizing harm” by joining their colleagues on strike.
The letter, emailed to a list of PG workers not on strike Wednesday afternoon, opens by declaring that the PG strike is “an existential crisis for local news and journalists everywhere.”
It notes that a 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that just 16% of U.S. journalists are in a union but another 41% would join one if they could.
“The numbers are clear: a union is one of the few resources we have to protect our jobs from stagnating wages and mass layoffs,” the letter reads.
The letter calls on the nonstriking PG workers to stop “undermining the strike by crossing the picket line.”
The letter is signed by hundreds of journalists from The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, New York magazine, The Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and dozens of other newspapers, magazines and websites, as well as other current and retired NewsGuild members from across the country.
The full text of the email and the list of those who signed their names is viewable here.
Meanwhile, striking Post-Gazette workers are nearing a fundraising landmark: $250,000.
Striking workers have raised funds online, in person and via text messaging. Using a service called Hustle, workers were able to send text messages in January to thousands of NewsGuild and Communications Workers of America members across the nation, and those members responded by chipping into the PG workers’ strike fund.
The strike fund has been sending money directly to striking workers to help them with necessary expenses, such as rent, groceries and other bills, since the strike began in October.
Alex is a digital news editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike.