Tonight I had a workers meeting at the Steelworkers Building in downtown Pittsburgh. I knew things had been moving very quickly in the past 6 weeks or so, but having it laid out by the organizers really brought the scope of what has happened this past week into focus.
So on Monday the NLRB hearings on the unfair labor practices continued, and are going really well for us, and not so well for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I'm really not at liberty to discuss the hearings for several good reasons. There are no links to provide and nothing to substantiate my claim. You'll have to trust me on it. When the ruling is released you can be sure that I'll bring the news to this site asap.
Tuesday saw us, with the help of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, pack the Baptist Temple in the Hill District. It was at this gathering that the demand statement was written, and that 10 faith leaders determined to meet with CEO Jeffery Romoff or get arrested.
On Wednesday the Pittsburgh City Council held another hearing concerning UPMC and how they have been treating their service workers and abusing their not for profit status. This is a new city council, some of whom got direct help from me and other members of the movement. With our help, the Pittsburgh City Council has a majority of progressive Democrats to stand behind the new, progressive Mayor, Bill Peduto. In the words of a professor of mine, Larry Sabato, "politics is a good thing!"
When Thursday morning arrived, it was time to carry out the PIIN action that was planned on Tuesday. I believe that all 10 faith leaders were arrested, I don't know why the newspaper article only mentioned 9 getting arrested. I was there, it was the first action I could participate in on my scheduled day off.
And on Friday, while my wife and I spent the day driving to Wilkes Barre, to get our daughter for Spring break, four fellow workers, two who have been (illegally) fired, met with the U.S. Secretary of Labor. It is one thing to get the Feds involved in your case, but when the Secretary of Labor takes over an entire hour of his day to meet with four workers, well, I'm just flabbergasted.
So here it is, almost 10:30 on Sunday night. The workers meeting was held at the Steelworkers Building since we were also hosting a meet and greet for the supporters coming in from out of town. There was some food, and a smoking hot band playing. And a big crowd of out of town guests sprinkled with a fair number of local supporters. We had to duck out early, but I was encouraged to see the buses were still arriving when we left around 8. I counted at least eight busses around the building. I have to get some sleep - I'll be out early to give flyers out to workers at the 6AM shift change. Those who wish can follow me on twitter @gskiii_15217. It looks like the worst of the storm has passed, roads aren't that bad. And the new patches on my favorite pair of boots look like they'll hold up for a day. I have my talking points, lots of hand warmers, I'll pack the charger for the iPhone and catch a really early bus downtown.