Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm, in Uncategorized
By Richard Negri
SEIU New Media Campaign Manager – Healthcare Division
The attack on union workers is spreading like a cancer – attempting to reach every Main Street in the United States. Whether it is Wisconsin, Ohio, or a small town nestled in Pennsylvania, big business and their political allies are on the hunt to break unions and the middle class we’ve created.
But as the attacks on the middle class have spread across the country, the fight back response from workers has spread just as quickly. This past weekend, Pocono Medical Center and the quaint little town of East Stroudsburg, PA nestled in the beautiful Pocono Mountains became the latest epicenter in this struggle. 5,000 people from as far away as Colorado, Baltimore and New York gathered just a couple blocks away from the hospital for a rally and march in support of the hospital’s 550 SEIU members.
Like many other corporations, Pocono Medical Center is posting record profits, but for the last six months has been demanding that workers give up their union shop, thereby making it easier for management to gut the workers’ contract, wages and benefits. The blatant disrespect for the workers at the hospital, some of which have worked at PMC for 20+ years, is unfathomable.
The workers at PMC aren’t taking management’s demands lying down, however. The workers already struck twice this year to protest the hospital’s unfair labor practices.
”Our union is here to stay. It’s time for management to move on, respect our voice and settle a fair contract,” said Kathy Walls, a patient facilitator in the same-day surgery department at the hospital.