by Chris Potter
The campaign to call UPMC to account for a variety of long-running controversies is about to kick into a higher gear, with a Sept. 7 march and rally in Oakland.
Union groups and others acting under the "Make it Our UPMC" umbrella have been organizing the event for some time, but it got a boost in City Council this morning. City Councilor Natalia Rudiak touted the protest while presenting a proclamation to workers seeking to unionize the hospital chain's service workers.
The Sept. 7 rally -- which will kick off at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Forbes Ave. and Bigelow Boulevard -- is "a very very important event" intended to "tell UPMC that we're not going to take any more bullying," said Rudiak. She praised the employees for acting in "the Pittsburgh tradition of standing up to bullies."
"Some things are worth fighting for," said former employee Jim Staus, who said he was laid off by UPMC for union activity.
City Council President Darlene Harris noted that the city is locked in its own battled with UPMC: "We're being sued because we're asking for tax dollars." (Well, there might be a bit more to their allegations than that.)
As we note in today's print edition, UPMC's foes have been stepping up their activity in recent days, bent on portraying the nonprofit as the inheritor of HC Frick's legacy. Stay tuned.