For anyone documenting the Pittsburgh news workers strike of 2022-23, this was a historic scene: members of all five unions gathering together for the first time since October.
About 75 striking workers — from the production, advertising and transportation departments as well as the newsroom — and other supporters met at noon Saturday at Steamfitters Local 449 on Route 51 in Beechview, along the back side of Mount Washington.
They broke bread — in the form of pizza kindly donated by Papa Allen’s, Downtown — mingled and in some cases met for the first time, and then listened to their leaders and fellow members talk about the strikes that started 122 days before.
They heard updates about good news, including the National Labor Relations Board ruling issued by an administrative law judge the previous week, the nearly quarter of a million dollars raised in the Pittsburgh Striker Fund, and the scheduling of new bargaining dates this Wednesday and Friday.
They also commiserated about the difficulties of being on strike.
But the mood generally was positive and at times fiery as the workers looked ahead.
“There’s nothing you can’t accomplish if you work together,” said Don McConnell, president of the Pittsburgh typographical union. “The spirit is in this room.”
Zack Tanner, president of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, told everyone, “We’re fighting a righteous fight here, and we are closer than ever to winning.”
The Rev. Vincent Kolb of Sixth Presbyterian Church opened with a reminder. “We have choices to make,” he said. “When we get up in the morning, we decide, will we live for ourselves, or for others? …
“Thank you for coming out for others and being courageous.”