Doyle, workers, union call for UPMC wage hike

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The protesters were joined by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pittsburgh, who said UPMC needs to share the American Dream.

“UPMC makes a lot of money, I don’t have a problem with that,” he said. “You work hard, you do the right things, and you make a lot of money. It’s the American Dream–but also, you share that dream with the people who made you successful.”

In a released statement, UPMC called the rally misleading, saying 96 percent of its employees make more than $11 per hour.

“At UPMC, the average base wage, excluding executive salaries, is $30 per hour or more than $61,000 annually plus another $15,000 in benefits.

The workers who attended the rally were not impressed, and in response, marched to the UPMC offices on Grant Street to deliver groceries from the food bank. They weren’t accepted.

A similar rally outside UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in September charged the healthcare giant with targeting union organizers. In October, the National Labor Relations Board charge UPMC with 48 violations. That trial was to have begun the same day as the rally, but has been delayed.  UPMC also faces a lawsuit from the City of Pittsburgh challenging its nonprofit, tax-exempt status.

(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)    

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