One Pittsburgh, community out in force to support UPMC workers on strike

Latasha TabbOn April 14, One Pittsburgh members join Pittsburghers from all over the region to support UPMC workers who are striking for their right to form a union.

For the last five years, workers, community advocates, people of faith, elected officials, and courageous individuals from all over the region stood together to challenge our biggest employer to live up to Pittsburgh values and the authentic mission of a public charity. Thanks to that pressure, UPMC finally agreed to raise entry level wages to $15 an hour. But, the fight is not over. We demand UPMC allow workers to form a union without interference or intimidation.

While workers across the country are making incredible gains to lift their wages and standards, Pittsburgh’s largest employer is still standing in the way of its workers’ abilities to support themselves and their families. Instead of allowing employees to make Pittsburgh truly livable, UPMC opposes efforts to form a union and find a path out of poverty. A living wage AND a voice at work are at the core of building a just and equitable city.

“We won’t let up until our friends and neighbors who work at UPMC have a seat at the table with their employer to share in decision-making and ensure that workers’ rights are respected. We will continue to hold UPMC accountable until they recognize workers’ right to form a union,” said Erin Kramer, Executive Director of One Pittsburgh. “The more workers are in a union, the better the economic impact to our region. We all do better when we all do better.”

WHAT: Day of Action for a Livable Pittsburgh
WHERE: Forbes & Bigelow
WHEN: 3:30 pm

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UPMC workers and community raise the floor on wages for Pittsburgh

For nearly five years, workers, community advocates, people of faith, progressive elected leaders, and courageous individuals from all over the region have stood together to challenge our biggest corporation to live up to Pittsburgh values and the authentic mission of a public charity. Today, One Pittsburgh celebrates UPMC workers and the community for pushing UPMC to raise entry level wages to $15 an hour. Now, we call on UPMC to allow workers to form a union without interference or intimidation.

“This is what happens when workers and the community stand together to make corporations pay their fair share,” said Donald Cooper, a One Pittsburgh volunteer and advocate from Homestead. “As the largest employer, this hard-fought victory won’t just affect UPMC workers, but all workers in our area.”

Pam Lee, a One Pittsburgh volunteer from Braddock who witnessed firsthand the blow to the community when UPMC Braddock shut its doors there, continued: “we won’t let up until UPMC workers have a seat at the table with their employer to share in decision-making and ensure that workers’ rights are respected. We are thrilled that UPMC will finally begin paying family-sustaining wages, but we will continue to hold them accountable until they recognize workers’ rights.”

That’s why One Pittsburgh will be out in strength with friends and allies on Thursday, April 14th to march and assert the demand for both living wages and the right to organize and to call for an equitable, livable city for all.

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THURSDAY: State Budget Town Hall with State Rep. Ed Gainey

PITTSBURGH, PA – The public is invited to join state Rep. Ed Gainey this evening for a town hall meeting to discuss the proposed 2015-16 state budget.

Following years of Governor Corbett budgets that prioritized corporate tax breaks over our communities, it’s time to get our state back on track. The budget proposed by Governor Wolf will reinvest in our schools, reform our property taxes and start making corporations pay their fair share.

“This public event will include a presentation about Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed state spending plan, followed by an audience question-and-answer period. It’s a great opportunity for people to provide input on how they think their state tax dollars should be spent,” said Gainey, D-Allegheny.

What: State Budget Town Hall

When: May 28th, 2015, 6pm – 7:30 pm

Where: Union Project, 801 N. Negley Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15206

Media coverage is encouraged.

Hosted by Rep.Gainey, One Pittsburgh, and 15Now. Other expected participants include Governor Wolf’s Southwestern Regional Representative Erin Molchany, State Senators Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana, and State Representatives Jake Wheatley and George Dunbar.

For more information, contact Rep. Gainey’s office at 412-665-5502, or Jodi Hirsh at 412-326-9832.

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One Pittsburgh rolls out the (human) red carpet for Corbett

One Pittsburgh rolls out the (human) red carpet for Gov. Corbett at the Duquesne Club

On Friday we learned that Governor Corbett (aka Governor Corporate) was serving a really expensive lunch to his supporters at the ultra fancy Duquesne Club.

We were so glad that Corbett came to town that we took a little lunch break of our own, One Pittsburgh style. We rolled out the red carpet — right over ourselves — to symbolize what tax dodging and corporate greed means for the people of our city.

We’re pretty tired of Governor Corbett walking all over us. In his budget address earlier this month we learned that he plans to slash education, has no funding for transit and is gutting vital healthcare services. He claims he has no choice — because he took a pledge to NEVER make the superwealthy or tax-dodging corporations pay their fair share. That’s not right, and One Pittsburgh is standing up (and laying down!)  to put an end to government of, by, and for the one percent.

Check out some of our awesome coverage!

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One Campus Students to Challenge Area University Presidents: Stand with Students against Tuition Hikes and Cuts to Education

For Immediate Release
October 26, 2011

Kyndall Mason | 503.927.0225 |

One Campus Students to Challenge Area University Presidents: Stand with Students against Tuition Hikes and Cuts to Education

As student debt tops $1 Trillion and as graduating students find it increasingly difficult to find jobs, Pittsburgh university students stand together to demand no cuts, good jobs, and tax policy that supports affordable education for all

Pittsburgh – More than 10 percent of current college graduates are unable to find employment after graduation, an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. At the same time, the cost of a four-year college education has increased by almost 50 percent over the last decade, while wages have grown by only 4 percent over the same time frame.

Unsurprisingly, students have begun defaulting on education loans at the highest levels in the history of the program. Many economists think the student loan problem is the next crisis of our economy, similar to the mortgage loan crisis.

One Campus, the student arm of One Pittsburgh, will be challenging top administrators at the University of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, to demand tuition freezes, an end to cuts, and that everyone – including corporations and the top 1% of society – pay their fair share to ensure that college remains affordable for middle class families.

Corey Buckner, a graphic design student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh living in Garfield, said, “I am accruing a large amount of debt attending the Art Institute. There are just no jobs out there. I am looking now and beginning to realize that I will probably have to just keep working my job as a server, at a restaurant I can’t even afford to eat at, after I graduate; which is depressing man. It’s time for students to take a stand for themselves and stop letting schools and huge investment companies hold our futures hostage.”

The peaceful marches will also include students turning over thousands of signatures of support for the tuition freeze. CCAC students from various campuses, who face a mid-year tuition hike, will all join the students at their Northside location.

WHO: One Campus

WHAT: Challenging Chancellors to Stand up for Students

WHERE: UPITT: Schenley Plaza; Art Institute: Back of Shannon Hall on Second Ave; CCAC: front of Milton Hall on Ridge Way

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 28 12:00pm (noon)


One Pittsburgh is a coalition of community, faith and labor groups standing up for an economy that works for all. One Pittsburgh is a campaign of Pittsburgh UNITED.

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Hear the Noise

We were asked to speak our minds to representatives from Washington on July 18, and that’s what we did. Below is some of the great coverage from our Speak Out.

We’re not stopping there. On August 18, we’re going to keep making noise by taking our demands for good jobs to Senator Pat Toomey’s office in Station Square. Sign up for email updates here.

Post-Gazette Article

Pittsburgh Courier Article

City Paper Article

Rick Smith Radio Show

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State Budget Gives Our Schools Lemons

Media Contact: Kyndall Mason
Phone: 503.927.0225

Community leaders and One Pittsburgh sell $10,000 lemonade to raise desperately needed funds for the Pittsburgh Public School system.

July 5, 2011 – Pittsburgh, PA On Saturday, July 9, residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside are setting up a lemonade stand to raise money for the Pittsburgh Public School system. Cups of lemonade will go for $10,000 and cookies at $5,000 apiece. Organizers say they have to sell lemonade at these prices to make up for the shortfall in the Pittsburgh Public School’s budget. On the heels of the school board’s difficult decision to cut 217 jobs, parents, community leaders and One Pittsburgh are standing up together to be heard.

Michelle Messenger, a frustrated Northside parent, sounds off: “It’s not right that corporations get tax breaks and loopholes while we are forced to close schools and lay off teachers.”

The Pennsylvania budget signed June 30 by Gov. Tom Corbett cuts major education programs by $863 million. This is a direct result of political leaders’ failure to fairly tax corporations and the wealthy at both the state and Federal levels. Over the last three years, GE, Yahoo, ExxonMobil, Verizon and IBM have all managed to avoid paying a combined total of $32.6 billion in federal income taxes due to loopholes and tax breaks.

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ share of the money from just these five corporations would be enough to put 201 teachers back to work. If all corporations and the wealthy paid their fair share of taxes, we wouldn’t have to have bake sales and lemonade stands to raise money for our children’s education.

What: Lemons to Lemonade stand
When: Saturday, July 9, 11am
Where: Allegheny West Commons Park, Across from Allegheny General Hospital
Visual: Citizens will be passing out informational fliers and lemonade while urging folks to voice their stories at the upcoming’s Listening Tour.


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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sounds off on our ExxonMobil rally

In a follow up article for our ExxonMobil rally the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette proclaims:

ExxonMobil’s June 2 purchase of two Marcellus Shale drilling companies couldn’t have come at a better time for Pittsburgh United.

The broad-based activist group — allied with unions, clergy members, environmentalists and left-wing politics — had already organized its Friday protest against Exxon’s use of tax loopholes by the time the oil company’s Marcellus Shale expansion became public.

Pittsburgh United is one of many coalition partners that One Pittsburgh has teamed with in our fight for good jobs, strong communities and corporate accountability. The article goes on to explain:

Exxon paid $1.69 billion for 317,000 acres owned by Phillips Resources of Warrendale and TWP Inc. of Butler.

“Exxon is in the news at the moment, but the reality is that Big Oil is buying up all the shale gas in the state,” organizer Barney Oursler said. “These companies, many of whom took bailouts, are not paying taxes to support services.”

Our rally and march to let ExxonMobil and other corporations know that we will not stand for continued corporate welfare was a success and was the first of many to come.

Click here to read more.

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Pittsburgh to Pirates: Come home from Delaware!

Contact: Kyndall Mason

PITTSBURGH – On Sunday, June 26th, residents of Pittsburgh will rally together at the Roberto Clemente Statue at noon to demand that CEOs – like the Pirates’ owner Bob Nutting — do what’s right and stop taking advantage of tax loopholes that hurt our city and our state.

Even when the Pirates had 18 straight losing seasons its ownership continued to win at the bank, thanks to something called the “Delaware Loophole”. Corporations set up mailboxes across the state line and avoid paying Pennsylvania income tax, even when most or all of their business is conducted right here. In addition to the Pirates, Bob Nutting also owns a chain of local papers, including the Altoona Mirror, as well as Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Not a single one of his business ventures is located in Delaware, but they are all incorporated there, which means his companies don’t pay a dime of corporate income tax to the state of Pennsylvania. Citizens will be formally offering Bob Nutting a change of address form, in the hopes that he moves his businesses back to Pennsylvania, where they operate.

Because 70 percent of all corporations in Pennsylvania do just what Bob Nutting does, our state misses out on $500 million in tax revenue annually. Meanwhile, tax-paying residents lose their jobs, their kindergartens, their buses and their social services because of revenue shortfalls.

With its share of the $500 million in lost tax revenue, the city of Pittsburgh could hire 258 Firefighters, or 182 nurses, or 231 teachers. Taxpayers contributed $190 million of public money to build the Pirates’ stadium. They expect the businesses they invest in to do their share to create a city that works for us all.

What: Organized citizens demanding Pirates’ ownership pay corporate income tax
When: Sunday, June 26th at 12:00pm
Where: Roberto Clemente Statue, just outside PNC Park
Visual: Citizens will be passing out fliers, holding signs and delivering a change of address form to Bob Nutting


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