Union and newspaper respond to mobile phone video of rest stop incident


A heated exchange between Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Chairman and CEO Allan Block and a union representative made its rounds on social media Monday. The video was captured by Nolan Rosenkrans. He is a former reporter for the Toledo Blade. According to Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild President Zack Tanner, Rosenkrans is a representative of the Newspaper Guild. The video shows Rosenkrans approaching Allen Block and his wife, Susan, inside a rest stop in Ohio. Rosenkrans can be heard asking Block, “Why can’t you come to an agreement with your workers?” before Block responds by swearing and allegedly holding up a fast food bag to shield himself from the camera. Block Communications, Inc. owns a number of local media and newspapers, including the Blade and the Post-Gazette. The guild says Rosenkrans was in Pittsburgh over the weekend to help picket the wedding of Post-Gazette owner John Block. The union rep was on his way home to Ohio when he reportedly ran into Allan Block at an Ohio rest stop. The Newspaper Guild says the meeting was unplanned. “It was a total coincidence,” said Newspaper Guild President Zach Tanner. A Post Gazette statement highlighted the incident and the picketing at John Block’s wedding as ongoing “bullying tactics”. The newspaper’s statement said in part: “On Saturday, November 19, striking members of the NewsGuild picketed and attempted to disrupt the religious ceremony and wedding reception of Post-Gazette editor John Block. The following day, a NewsGuild protester confronted a Block Communications Manager and his wife at a rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike as they were returning home from the wedding. The newspaper and its unions have had two bargaining sessions so far. Another session is scheduled for early next month. A statement from the newspaper says the company is eager to return to the negotiating table. “The union came in good faith last week to try to resolve the strike and the company showed no interest,” Tanner added. “We really want to come in good faith and the property has shown no interest in that… We hope the Blocks change their minds.” WTAE contacted Block Communications Inc. and Allen Block for comment, but did not hear back.

A heated exchange between Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Chairman and CEO Allan Block and a union representative made its rounds on social media Monday.

The video was captured by Nolan Rosenkrans. He is a former reporter for the Toledo Blade. According to Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild President Zack Tanner, Rosenkrans is a representative of the Newspaper Guild.

The video shows Rosenkrans approaching Allen Block and his wife, Susan, inside a rest stop in Ohio. Rosenkrans can be heard asking Block, “Why can’t you come to an agreement with your workers?” before Block responds by swearing and allegedly holding up a fast food bag to shield himself from the camera.

Block Communications, Inc. owns a number of local media and newspapers, including the Blade and the Post-Gazette.

The guild says Rosenkrans was in Pittsburgh over the weekend to help picket the wedding of Post-Gazette owner John Block. The union rep was on his way home to Ohio when he reportedly ran into Allan Block at an Ohio rest stop. The Newspaper Guild says the meeting was unplanned.

“It was a total coincidence,” said Newspaper Guild President Zach Tanner.

A Post Gazette statement highlighted the incident and the picketing at John Block’s wedding as ongoing “bullying tactics”.

The newspaper’s statement said in part: “On Saturday, November 19, striking members of the NewsGuild picketed and attempted to disrupt the religious ceremony and wedding reception of Post-Gazette editor John Block. The following day, a NewsGuild protester confronted a Block Communications Manager and his wife at a rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike as they were returning home from the wedding.

The newspaper and its unions have had two bargaining sessions so far. Another session is scheduled for early next month. A statement from the newspaper says the company is eager to return to the bargaining table.

“The union came in good faith last week to try to resolve the strike and the company showed no interest,” Tanner added. “We really want to come in good faith and the property has shown no interest in that… We hope the Blocks change their minds.”

WTAE contacted Block Communications Inc. and Allen Block for comment, but did not hear back.

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