PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are officially on strike and approximately 40,000 people will be without a newspaper this morning.
Mailers and typographers who are members of the Communications Workers of America union say they've been working without a contract for more than four years and haven't had a raise in 16 years.
The workers are responsible for designing, printing, and distributing the paper, along with advertising sales and accounts.
Workers from four different unions walked out of the Post-Gazette's production facility in Clinton late Wednesday night.
They saywas the termination of their health insurance, which took place on October 1.
The CWA says Block Communications, which owns the Post-Gazette, refused to pay an additional $19 per week, per employee, to keep up healthcare.
"They cancelled our healthcare," said John Clark. "It's constant litigation. It's costly and time consuming. When we win one, they appeal it. It's just their commitment to litigate us until we're broke. At this point and time, this is our only remedy. This is all we have left."
Union members tell KDKA that around 55 workers from four unions are now on strike.
Employees say there's a chance the company operates on a digital-only basis.
The Post-Gazette provided the following statement to KDKA.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has offered the unions several options that would ensure the continuation of the affected union employees' healthcare. One of these proposals included a 9% wage increase and enrollment in the company's healthcare plan, which currently covers 2,600 Block Communications employees, including several unions, company executives and staff at the PG. It is not clear why this proposal, nor any of the others, is unsatisfactory to the unions and their membership. The Post-Gazette will continue to publish seven days a week.
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