“A lot of my co-workers have complained about respiratory issues, like they were having trouble breathing. A lot of them would complain about their eyes being irritated,” says Justin Sheldon, a housekeeper at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. “I’m concerned about the health effects that this product poses to not only my coworkers, but to the patients.”
OxyCide is supposed to make hospitals cleaner and safer for patients, but what about the staff that has to use it?
New Investigation Follows Recent Ruling that Found “Egregious and Widespread” Violations
“We know that we have basic rights at work, and we’re
working hard to make sure that UPMC respects those
rights. We’re disappointed that UPMC supervisors keep
breaking the law to try to stop us from forming our union.
UPMC needs to commit to respecting our rights and
letting us form our union without illegal harassment.”
– C.J. Patterson, Patient Care Technician
For the third time in two years, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against UPMC, charging them with 13 new violations of our rights at work. The new charges include occurrences of coercion, surveillance and disparate enforcement of rules at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, UPMC Mercy, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and University of Pittsburgh Physicians.
Nineteen supervisors are listed in the federal complaint, including three who were also named in previous labor violation complaints against UPMC. The complaint charges that UPMC as a single employer is responsible for labor violations occurring in their facilities. These charges come just three months after a historic decision by National Labor Relations Administrative Law Judge Mark Carissimi found that UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside “engaged in such egregious and widespread misconduct so as to demonstrate a general disregard for employees’ statutory rights.”
The new charges include coercively interrogating employees about their support for forming a union, enforcing rules and discipline differently based on union support and restricting employees from talking about forming a union while allowing other non-work related conversations.
It is critical that all UPMC employees know what our rights at work are so that we can protect ourselves when UPMC supervisors break the law. By standing together we can hold UPMC accountable to following the law, and we can form our union so that we have a permanent voice for fairness at work.
Recently, we won our jobs back as part of an historic legal decision against UPMC.
The federal judge’s ruling didn’t end there. In addition to ordering UPMC to put us back to work, the judge awarded us full back pay and ruled that UPMC must admit its guilt and respect the rights of all its employees. Our victory is a victory for all UPMC workers. Now more than ever, we know the movement for justice at UPMC cannot be stopped. Like many of you, we will not stop until we win fair wages, affordable healthcare, and decent treatment at our jobs.
UPMC tried everything to stop us. From hiring high-priced out-of-town lawyers to offering us significant financial settlements to walk away. It’s time we asked: Why does UPMC fight so hard to keep its workers from forming a union? The answer is simple. Because they know we can win.
We know very well that UPMC will try to drag out the process of bringing us back by spending thousands of dollars on legal appeals, dollars that would be better spent on improving patient care and paying hospital workers a living wage. But the truth is: the judge’s decision isn’t going anywhere and neither are we.
It wasn’t easy for us to turn down UPMC’s money offers. Like just about every UPMC worker, our families struggle to get by. But this fight is bigger than any one of us. We know — just like UPMC does — that UPMC workers are going to form our union. By standing together, we will win better hospitals, better jobs, and a better Pittsburgh.
Together we can make it our UPMC
Ron Oakes, Transport
Jim Staus, Supply
Al Turner, Shuttle Driver
“”UPMC workers and Pittsburgh need our region’s largest employer to make a real commitment to stop violating workers’ rights and let us form our union without illegal harassment or intimidation,”
Labor board again accuses UPMC of anti-union tactics