City Councilors, activists speak out against UPMC

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Rudiak criticizes UPMC flanked by labor activists and fired workers

In the wake of National Labor Relations Board charges alleging that UPMC lashed out at employees who are attempting to unionize, city councilors, labor activists and two workers criticized the mammoth healthcare provider this morning in front of a gaggle of reporters outside city council chambers.

The event was organized by city councilor Natalia Rudiak, whose drumbeat was joined by her council colleagues Bruce Kraus and Darlene Harris.

UPMC is a "highly subsidized charitable institution" Rudiak says as part of her argument that they should be expected to be supportive of higher wages and tolerant of unionization.

Ron Oakes, an employee who says he transported patients at UPMC Presbyterian, was fired and reinstated then fired again. "UPMC fired me without warning," he told the room. "The NLRB said I was fired illegally. I want UPMC to stop this anti-union campaign."

And even though he's been fired twice, Oakes says he'd take his old job back in a heartbeat.

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