UPMC workers have stood up to Pittsburgh’s goliath and proved that UPMC is not above the law.
Facing the prospect of a trial over 80 separate alleged violations of labor law committed by 59 different UPMC managers and executives, UPMC has settled charges workers brought to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last year.
UPMC’s settlement with the NLRB is a victory for the workers who are bravely standing up for middle class jobs from the region’s largest employer – a “non-profit” corporation that has $4 billion in the bank – showing their entire community that UPMC can be held accountable.
“After 17 years at UPMC, I wasn’t going to just walk away when I was fired, because I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Frank Lavelle, one of the fired workers who will be offered reinstatement as part of the settlement. “I’m proof to my co-workers and people in Pittsburgh who are afraid of UPMC that when we stand up together we can make UPMC act right.”
For months, UPMC officials have denied any existence of an anti-union campaign being waged against workers trying to form a union inside their facilities. UPMC spokesperson, Paul Wood went so far as to call the allegations a “outright fabrication.” UPMC lawyers even filed a motion claiming that it had no employees.
But in the end, the UPMC hospitals named in the NLRB Complaint agreed to settlements that will:
- Offer reinstatement to illegally fired workers, have their seniority restored and be offered 80% of back pay.
- Offer back pay to suspended workers.
- Clear the records of disciplined workers.
- Post notices widely saying the company will not violate the rights of employees both in print and electronic formats.
- Rescind allegedly unlawful solicitation, social networking and confidential information policies and post notices of these changes system-wide.
- Retrain all managers and supervisors about the rights of employees to organize and discuss the union with co-workers.
If the UPMC hospitals violate the settlement, they can then immediately be taken to trial on all charges against that hospital.