More than 13 months after some fellow workers went on strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, several striking journalists in the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh began a “Block Blitz” of Pittsburgh-area members of the family that owns the newspaper and its parent company, Block Communications Inc.
On Monday evening, a contingent traveled to the Fox Chapel home of Donald Block, who is a BCI director, to ask him to push the company to settle health care coverage issues with workers in four production unions and to bargain in good faith with the guild to resolve the strike.
Workers in the advertising, mailing, press and transportation unions went on strike over health care on Oct. 6, 2022. The journalists joined them on their own unfair labor practices strike on Oct. 18, 2022. In January 2023, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge ruled in the guild’s favor and said the company is breaking federal law and must bargain in good faith, but the company appealed.
A delegation of six striking journalists and a union organizer knocked on the front door of Don Block’s home just after 6 p.m. Monday. He opened the door, perhaps recognized their strike buttons or some of their faces and said, “I can’t talk with you now” before closing the door. Guild First Vice President Ed Blazina tried to squeeze in a “When can you talk with us?” and the group knocked on the door again, but no one answered, and so the strikers departed.
The guild’s unit chair, Andrew Goldstein, said striking workers will continue to try to talk with Don Block and other Block relatives, in Pittsburgh and beyond, in person and by phone, to get them to push BCI and the Post-Gazette to bargain with the unions to end the strike.
Bob, a feature writer and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is currently on strike and serving as interim editor of the Pittsburgh Union Progress. Contact him at email@example.com.