Surrounded by 100 faith leaders, community members, elected officials and labor leaders, UPMC workers broke their week-long fast for good jobs at UPMC Friday morning. Supported by their co-workers, seven-day fasters Mary Hughes and Chaney Lewis led a procession around UPMC’s headquarters. The procession had five distinct stops, each stop highlighting the injustices UPMC workers face every day at the healthcare giant.
UPMC workers have been fasting outside UPMC’s headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh to shine a light on the immorality of poverty and how UPMC is holding our community back by paying many of its workers too little to live on.
“These past seven days have been about embodying the hardships of all UPMC workers in a form that cannot be ignored,” said faster Mary Hughes, a medical transcriptionist.. “It is immoral that workers can’t feed their families and are choosing to go hungry so their children can eat. This suffering must end and UPMC needs to improve jobs now.”
The interfaith vigil was part of Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network’s Love Thy Neighbor campaign, a clergy-led effort of action and prayer aimed at calling on our region’s largest charity to do more for the city of Pittsburgh. Father Eric McIntosh, who also fasted for the week, led the interfaith vigil. “UPMC must end the suffering of its workers by paying all of its employees a family-sustaining wage,” said Father Mcintosh. “We cannot continue to go about our daily lives ignoring the grave injustice that UPMC is inflicting on members of our congregations, of our communities, of our city.”
“My co-workers and I may not have the connections or the money that UPMC has, but we have the strength, the determination, our bodies and even our hunger as part of this fight,” said faster Josh Malloy, a housekeeper at UPMC Mercy. “We are not going to stop raising our voices until UPMC changes the way it treats all of its employees.”
Together, we can Make it Our UPMC.