Local Faith Community Leaders Meet with 1199SEIU to Discuss Poverty and Corporate Social Responsibility

January 18, 2017

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2017

Contact: Lige English, 518-491-5886 | lige.english@1199.org


(Troy, NY) Faith and leaders from across the Capital District met in Troy, NY today to discuss issues including regional poverty, corporate accountability, and the ongoing union drive at St. Peter’s Health Partners. Attendees also discussed the tax increase in Troy and the disparity between the largest employers in the city being tax exempt while citizens are being asked to pay more.

Clergy, representatives from interfaith organizations, and labor leaders gathered today at Troy’s Christ Church United Methodist to discuss issues affecting poverty in the region including the fact that some of the richest employers in our communities are paying sub-par wages. After hearing from an employee at St. Peter’s Hospital, Joe Paparone, an organizer with the Labor-Religion Coalition said “It is morally wrong that people who work for the wealthiest corporation in our region are struggling to survive. St. Peter’s could improve the health of the community by lifting its workers out of poverty.” Mark Bergen, 1199SEIU Vice President stated “1199 is committed to helping the workers and communities have a brighter future with economic security and greater opportunity. This is at the heart of the work that we have been doing in the Restore Rensselaer County campaign.”

“It is saddening to learn that members of our community are facing many of the same struggles as our congregations including insufficient healthcare and wages. I am excited to be joining forces with other faith and labor leaders to address these issues” said Paulette Camp, Co-Pastor at Agape Apostolic Church of Deliverance. Lori Massara, 1199 organizer and Rensselaer County Resident, stated “Their tax break is our tax hike. While we face rising costs and diminished services the richest companies in the region are not giving back or paying their fair share to the community or their employees.”

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1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.