Sen. Ferlo leads demonstrators' march on Highmark's downtown headquarters

Updated:

Loading
PITTSBURGH —

Pittsburgh police were called Wednesday after dozens of politicians, community leaders and West Penn Allegheny Healthy System workers tried delivering a message to Highmark’s downtown headquarters.

About 100 demonstrators, led by State Sen. Jim Ferlo, were voicing their opinion that they want the health insurer to resume merger negotiations with West Penn, but they were locked out of the Fifth Avenue building.

Demonstrators told Channel 11 News that the failure to resume talks is “the ultimate betrayal to the city.”

“You can see the disrespect that officials of Highmark demonstrated here today. I think they have unmitigated and it’s very disappointing that they don’t have the respect for the citizens that are here today,” Ferlo said.

The demonstrators said they’re worries that West Penn Hospital will close if there’s not a new deal.

West Penn backed out of negotiations because officials said Highmark wanted West Penn to declare bankruptcy.

Highmark issues a statement Wednesday saying they welcome the public support and that they remain committed to an affiliation with West Penn.