Pittsburgh Newspaper’s Editorial Union Approves Contract

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial union approved a new contract Thursday, another step in the financially ailing newspaper’s bid to finalize a deal with its more than 1,000 employees.

Earlier this month, the Post-Gazette reached tentative labor deals with its 927 full-time and 115 part-time employees. The 240 editorial workers make up the newspaper’s second-largest union.

Details of the agreements have not been disclosed and several more of the newspaper’s unions still have to approve the contract.

“We approved ours,” said Mike Bucsko, Newspaper Guild president. “It’s kind of a hollow victory. Nothing’s over till it’s all over. We are just cautiously optimistic right now that the other unions will vote to approve theirs and we will be able to move on.”

The newspaper’s management sought union concessions due to several years of operating losses. The Post-Gazette has said that it has lost $23 million since 2003, and has predicted a further operating loss of $20 million this year.

The Post-Gazette is owned by Block Communications, which also owns The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, where the company is engaged in a bitter battle with its unions.

The newspaper reported in October that its daily circulation in the last six months had plummeted from 230,887 to 212,075, and its Sunday circulation declined from more than 382,000 to just under 355,000.

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