Responding to the need of UPMC workers to rely on food banks, nearly 200 UPMC workers, faith and labor leaders, and community allies joined Congressman Mike Doyle on February 3 to donate food to workers at the city’s largest employer.
Even with $1.3 billion in profits in the last three years, $4 billion in reserves and 22 top executives paid $47.5 million a year, UPMC pays many of its employees so little that they face constant financial insecurity. Even working full-time, many are forced to rely on taxpayer programs—like food stamps, housing subsidies and even Medicaid—just to get by.
UPMC workers like Leslie Poston keep the heart and lung transplant unit running smoothly. She has been at UPMC for ten years but even working full time hours, she only brings home about $300 dollars a week. Because of UPMC’s poverty wages, she must use food banks to keep food on her table.
“Last week I saw UPMC’s giant ad in the paper saying UPMC gives to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank so that people in Pittsburgh can eat,” said Leslie Poston “This is a great thing. Generosity towards people in need is really beautiful. But the ad also struck a nerve, because I AM one of the people who uses a food bank. So are many of my coworkers.”
The reality is UPMC doesn’t pay its service sector workers, their largest number of workers, enough to sustain themselves or their families. Many experts agree and say that UPMC pays up to 30% less than what someone like Leslie would need to earn to support her family.
Congressman Doyle knows that the road to ending income inequality in Pittsburgh goes through UPMC and called on the global healthcare giant to use its wealth and power to help the people who made it the success it is today live the American dream.
“The road to ending income inequality in Pittsburgh begins at UPMC. Our state’s largest private employer has the power and ability to lift thousands of workers out of poverty and into the middle class,” Said Congressman Doyle “By working together with your employees you can grow the middle class and strengthen the economy for all of Pittsburgh.”
UPMC needs to do more for the community it serves, and Reverend Eric McIntosh, from St. James Episcopal Church, called on UPMC to remember its charitable mission and to put people ahead of profits.
“UPMC is morally bankrupt. UPMC has lost sight of its charitable mission, and its business practices are putting undue financial pressures on families relying on a paycheck from them and for Pittsburgh families picking up the slack where UPMC leaves off,” said Rev Eric. McIntosh of St. James Episcopal Church “UPMC is defining jobs and the economy in Pittsburgh, but not in a way that helps our families. We need UPMC to put people ahead of profits.”
Good Jobs. Healthy Pittsburgh.
In The News:
Rep. Mike Doyle Joins Workers Rallying Against UPMC – WESA FM