COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA CALLS ON C-SPAN TO REMOVE CHAIRMAN ALLAN BLOCK FROM BOARD OF DIRECTORS
On December 19, 2022, CWA posted the following Press Release:
December 19, 2022
CWA’s calls for the removal of Allan Block, owner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, following Block’s cuts to Post-Gazette workers’ healthcare and refusal to bargain in good faith
Block’s anti-worker and anti-democratic stance are “anathema to a neutral institution of public discourse like C-SPAN,” say CWA board members in letter to C-SPAN
PITTSBURGH — The Communications Workers of America’s Executive Board today sent a letter to C-SPAN calling for the immediate removal of Allan Block from C-SPAN’s Board of Directors. Block is currently Chairman of C-SPAN’s Board and President and CEO of Block Communications, Inc., which owns the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the letter directed to C-SPAN’s Executive Committee, CWA points to Block’s continued irresponsibility and biased behavior as directly contradicting C-SPAN's commitment to neutrality.
Block’s behavior includes supporting the January 6 insurrection, attempting to sway reporting to be pro-Trump, and refusing to provide his workers at the Post-Gazette with basic necessities like healthcare and raises. Last month, Block made headlines for swearing at a union representative and slapping the rep with a bag of food after being asked why he refuses to come to a fair agreement with his Post-Gazette workers. In addition to CWA’s letter, Post-Gazette workers launched a petition demanding Block’s removal from C-SPAN’s Board.
“We believe Mr. Block’s continued presence on your board poses an ongoing risk to the network’s brand. His anti-democratic and anti-worker behavior are deserving of greater public scrutiny and are anathema to a neutral institution of public discourse like C-SPAN,” CWA Board members said in the letter.
CWA’s calls for Block’s removal from the C-SPAN Board of Directors comes as Post-Gazette workers and members of CWA continue their fight for healthcare and a fair contract on week 9 of their strike. The strike started on October 6, after Block Communications effectively cut Post-Gazette production, distribution, and advertising workers off from their healthcare plan by refusing to pay a $19-a-week premium increase and letting workers deduct those increases from their own paychecks. There are currently over 100 workers across all departments of the newspaper and five unions on strike.
Post-Gazette workers’ last bargaining session on December 6 included zero cooperation on the part of Block Communications, as the company rejected both proposals presented by the union and offered no counter proposals.
“Allan Block has become a liability — to his employees, to his company, and to C-SPAN’s reputation as an institution of stability and objective coverage,” CWA said in its letter to C-SPAN.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.