The sky over the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, on Nov. 18, 2023. (Courtesy of Darwin Leuba)

Any good campaign can use some air support.

An airplane pulling a banner that read “JOHN BLOCK, SETTLE THE STRIKE” flew over fans heading to the Harvard-Yale football game Saturday in New Haven, Connecticut. The message referred to the publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the unfair labor practice strike that began at the newspaper 13 months ago. 

Block, a Yale alumni, is a regular attendee of the annual Harvard-Yale game. 

Strikers have been pressuring Block since October 2022 when he and his family refused to pay the yearly increase in health insurance for its production workers, instead attempting to force them onto a more expensive company-administered plan without bargaining. When the workers refused the company plan, they were left with no health insurance. 

Dozens of advertising/sales representatives, delivery drivers, pressmen, mailers and journalists still remain on strike more than 13 months later because Block would not pay the $19-per-employee-per-week health insurance increase that would have cost the company about $66,000 for the year. 

Since the strike started, Block, who splits his time between his Shadyside mansion and Isle of Palms, South Carolina, has refused to communicate with his workers while throwing a lavish wedding for himself with a celebration at the Duquesne Club in Downtown last year; continuing to travel around the country on his private jet; and acquiring the City Paper, a weekly alternative newspaper in Pittsburgh. 

Yale won the game, 23-18, creating a three-way split for the 2023 Ivy League championship among Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth.    

The PUP is the publication of the striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh Union Progress

The PUP is the publication of the striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.