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UPMC employees to use forum to air complaints about treatment

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Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

UPMC employees are being encouraged to use an Allegheny County Council hearing about the tax-exempt status of property owned by the health care giant to criticize how they are treated, according to a series of union-distributed flyers.

Copies of two flyers say the hearing is “to investigate UPMC's treatment of workers and the community.”

In one flyer, UPMC shuttle driver Al Turner is quoted as saying: “What kind of charity hospital pays its CEO almost $6 million a year and then tries to intimidate and silence workers who speak up for a way we can live on?”

The motion that council approved on Nov. 7 to discuss UPMC's tax-exempt status makes no mention of labor issues.

Both flyers indicate that they are being put out by a group called Make It Our UPMC/UPMC Employees United, which is a project of the Service Employees International Union.

Councilman James Ellenbogen, D-Banksville, said while he supports the idea of allowing people “to vent,” he questions whether Wednesday night's meeting is the right forum.

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or

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