The Pittsburgh City Paper attended last month’s meeting of UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside Board of Directors to talk to some UPMC workers who face intimidation at work for trying to form a union.
One worker at UPMC who participated in the meeting and march, Chaney Lewis, spoke to the City Paper, saying:
“All I want to do is exercise my right as a citizen to talk to my co-workers about the option of forming a union. If the union comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, well that’s all right, too. But please, let’s just play fairly.”
The paper also reported that UPMC is facing an investigation into worker intimidation.
In May, the SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that UPMC has “interfered with, restrained and coerced employees,” who were seeking to unionize. Specifically, the complaint charges that UPMC “[s]urveilled, interrogated and intimidated employees with respect to their support for the union and their union activities,” and threatened to fire employees for discussing unionization “while permitting anti-union speech and activity.”
“They’re pulling us away from caring for the patients and doing our jobs,” says employee Charlene Hampton, of East Liberty. “They can talk against unionizing all they want but we’re not allowed to talk about the benefits of it.”