UPMC workers go on a one-day strike demanding better wages and the right to form a union | News | Pittsburgh

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Local rapper and activist Jasiri X entertains a crowd protesting UPMC workers in downtown Pittsburgh on November 18.

Workers at UPMC, a health care giant in Pittsburgh, have fought for years for higher wages, lower health insurance premiums, and union rights. And this determination seemed to be stronger only during the pandemic, as healthcare workers were overtaxed due to the weight of the country on their shoulders.

On November 2, UPMC officials seemed to respond to the announcement of a slight wage increase. Hiring salaries rose to $ 15.75 per hour in January, and on November 26, all employees were given a $ 500 bonus.

But hundreds of workers weren’t happy. Some have called this increase a “slap to all workers.” And on November 18, UPMC workers from several hospitals in the region went on strike for a day, calling for higher wages, the right to union without interference, and other demands.

Numerous clinical staff, including surgical technicians and certified nursing assistants, as well as non-clinical employees, including the food service industry and transport workers, gathered outside the US Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, the headquarters of UPMC. Workers raise the minimum wage to $ 20 per hour for UPMC, provide employees with affordable, high-quality medical care, eliminate all workers’ medical obligations, and workers without corporate intervention. Requested to unite.

Workers are not affiliated with the union, but their labor practices are protected by federal law and are allowed to go on strike for one day. Healthcare workers need to be notified 10 days in advance and have been notified on November 5th.

Many UPMC healthcare professionals explained at the rally how they struggled to achieve their goals while UPMC continued to make more profits.

“We are overworked, low wages and stressed,” said Tosh Lindsay, a UPMC worker at Environmental Services. “UPMC doesn’t care.”

During the rally, when workers tried to take their request letter to UPMC’s office, police were blocking the door saying no one was at the desk to receive their letter.

Sunburn Previous press conference announcing a day’s strikeJulia St. Fani, a pharmacy assistant at UPMC Children’s Hospital, talked about how she received $ 2,000 in medical expenses last year after her daughter was hospitalized. When she admitted to her daughter’s pediatrician that she was having a hard time paying an invoice for $ 15.45 an hour, UPMC doctors referred her to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

“We worked in a pandemic for two years at no extra charge. Paying a living wage of $ 20 an hour means $ 400 on all salaries,” Centofanti said in a press release. I am saying. “Because we’ve already worked to make billions of dollars in UPMC, believe I’ll monetize this $ 500 check. We owe more than this. I will continue to organize with my colleagues for the right wages, safer staffing, and union rights for us. ”

The one-day strike also brought support from many Democratic politicians and elected officials, including Ed Gainey, Mayor of Pittsburgh. Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman; Pittsburgh City Councilor Fat Gross; Allegheny County Councilors Bethany Haram and Anita Prizio. Austin Davis, Summer Lee, Emily Kinkade, Dan Miller, Anita Coolick, Dan DC, Jessica Benham. Democratic candidate for Jerry Dickinson Congress.

Democratic candidate for the 17th parliamentary district Chris Delzio Participating in strikes and in favor of workers, UPMC said it earned $ 23 billion from workers last year but did not value them.

Lee, Candidate for Congress, Spoke on strike outside the UPMC headquarters.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but UPMC, the state’s largest employer, has a record. They earned $ 23 billion this year, but our workers, our essential workers. Couldn’t afford to live in what we call the most livable city in the country, “Lee told a crowd of workers. “We need to send a message. We stand with the workers. They deserve a union.”

According to the recent University of Pittsburgh study, 64% of hospital workers have problems paying rent, mortgages, or utilities. Nearly 60% of the people surveyed had medical debt or had difficulty buying food or medicine.

Gainey, who will take office in January, posted on social media that “it raises the voice of UPMC workers who have overcome all the pandemic challenges of the pandemic,” and said that these workers deserve what they asked for from UPMC. rice field.

UPMC workers go on a one-day strike demanding better wages and the right to form a union | News | Pittsburgh

Source link UPMC workers go on a one-day strike demanding better wages and the right to form a union | News | Pittsburgh

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