USW Protests Corizon's Dismissal of Jail Employee, Union Supporter

Mon Feb 3, 2014 3:03pm EST

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USW Protests Corizon's Dismissal of Jail Employee, Union Supporter

PR Newswire

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today denounced Corizon Health Inc.'s unjust dismissal of Sister Barbara Finch, a nurse and union organizer at the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh.


Corizon's revocation of Sister Barbara's security clearance last week came just two weeks before jail workers are scheduled to vote in a February 14 union election. Sister Barbara started the union campaign last fall when she contacted the USW for help; the union filed a petition in January for an election.

"This is a clear case of intimidation and union-busting at its worst," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Sister Barbara has been an outspoken advocate of change for these courageous workers and their patients, and this kind of illegal and unjust action, unfortunately, is par for the course with Corizon."

Corizon, a for-profit healthcare corporation based in Brentwood, Tenn., won an $11.4 million contract with Allegheny County last year and began offering medical services at the jail on September 1. The company slashed staffing and quickly began having difficulty dispensing medicines to inmates in a timely fashion.

Sister Barbara, who has worked at the jail for five years, was dismissed last week after she was outspoken about the need for change during a series of meetings with Corizon representatives called in response to the union campaign.

"This illegal dismissal is the cowardly act of a greedy corporation," Gerard said. "Our priority should be the health and well-being of the communities we serve. Sadly, Corizon's priority is the bottom line."

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.

Maria Somma: (412) 562-1992,
R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450,

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

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