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DOJ asked to investigate UPMC for worker exploitation

 UPMC Williamsport
UPMC Williamsport

UPMC is under fire for low wages and staff ratios, so much so that a complaint was filed with the Federal Government.

SEIU Healthcare Workers Union and Strategic Organizing Center is asking the Department of Justice to investigate UPMC, the state's largest private employer, for what they believe to be violations of antitrust labor laws.

The complaint alleges that non-compete clauses and UPMC's dominance in Western and Central Pennsylvania are preventing workers from finding jobs with better conditions. UPMC has 94% of the market share in Williamsport.

Matt Yarnell is President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.

"UPMC has created a perfect anti-competitive system for itself, where it has market power and control. It enjoys a huge competitive advantage across the Pennsylvania labor markets. This harms workers, patients, and competition overall, and these abuses should be stopped."

UPMC employs 92,000 people at its 40 hospitals in Western and Central Pennsylvania.

A nine-month investigation and wage study found that all UPMC workers in all job categories earn less on average than at other comparable hospitals. UPMC's staff ratios are also 19% lower.

UPMC's Chief Communications Officer Paul Wood provided a statement, saying in part that the entry-level wage for non-union workers will increase to $18 an hour in 2025, and, “There are no other employers of size and scope in the regions UPMC serves that provide good paying jobs at every level and an average wage of this magnitude.”