Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rallies Take over Pittsburgh Six Cited during Upmc Sit-In in Shadyside; Corbett Leads Group in Support of Coal

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rallies Take over Pittsburgh Six Cited during Upmc Sit-In in Shadyside; Corbett Leads Group in Support of Coal

Article excerpt

Six people protesting UPMC's recent contract cancellation with its unionized cleaning firm were cited for trespassing this morning during a sit-in inside one of the health system's buildings in Shadyside.

The protesters were demanding a meeting with Janet Crowley?, a UPMC property manager based in Shadyside. One of the six cited, Steven Kelley, 48, of McKees Rocks, said he was prepared to be arrested in the process.

"What they're doing here is wrong," he said, as a group of around 30 chanted outside the Aiken Medical Building where Ms. Crowley works. "There are six people who don't have a job."

Until May, Shadyside Medical Building, next to UPMC Shadyside, was cleaned by? union workers from Pitcairn?-based? ?ServiceMaster?.? The health system used an option in the agreement to rebid it, awarding a new contract to a company called Manage It, which does not have a unionized labor force.

The group this morning started chanting along Centre Avenue near a banner with balloons that read "UPMC: Life Changing Firings." They moved to the hospital grounds next, where they were met by UPMC security and Pittsburgh police, and briefly sat down. The six people who were cited also sat down inside the Aiken Medical Building. One security guard told a protester outside, "This is a hospital" and asked how he'd feel if his family member was inside during such a disturbance.

"I wouldn't feel good," union coordinator Tim Finucan told a reporter later, recalling the encounter, "but I also don't feel good about the people who lost their jobs. That's why we're here."

The ServiceMaster contract employed 10 cleaners. Their last day was June 27. A Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ spokeswoman said they have found part-time work since then.

A UPMC spokeswoman declined comment.

A second protest at UPMC headquarters Downtown is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today.

In Station Square, Gov. Tom Corbett joined West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and about two thousand more coal industry supporters in a riverside rally opposing proposed federal regulations curbing greenhouse gases from coal- burning power plants. …

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