PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Several members of Pittsburgh City Council spoke out in support of workers and former employees at UPMC today.
They want the city’s largest employer to end what they say are attacks on workers and they want UPMC to provide good jobs.
There were outbursts of applause and cheers. Several workers from UPMC had come to Pittsburgh City Council for support and had gotten it.
Among them were labor leaders and community members.
UPMC came under fire after the National Labor Relations Board charged them with multiple violations against workers involved in a union-organizing campaign.
“I cannot believe that we are here again. We were just here in February, there were 80 unfair labor practices. Now, there are 47 more,” City Council President Darlene Harris said.
Calls for changes at UPMC are growing in leaps and bounds. Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak compares the fight to David and Goliath.
Ron Oakes said he has been fired twice.
“First time was absenteeism, which was false. This time, it was a policy violation, which is false,” Oakes said. “They only fired me for my union activity.”
Jim Staus has also been fired.
“They said I was inept after seven-and-a-half years of complaint free work. But, in actuality, it was because of my union support,” Staus said.
Workers say the support of Council is a step in the right direction, but they hope UPMC steps in line as well.
“Council has always supported the employees of UPMC. They’re our constituents, they’re our neighbors, they’re our family, they’re our friends and we’re here to show UPMC that we’re not intimidated, that we’re not going to back down that we’re going to continue to fight for our constituents,” Rudiak said.
UPMC said it will not have a comment on the charges today.