Striking Auto Workers Say GM's Health Insurance Cut Hurt Them

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Some placing employees had been stuck off-guard when General Motors stopped paying for worker medical health insurance this week. 

Nearly 50,000 employees on the automaker’s crops all over the nation went on strike Monday for higher pay and advantages. On Tuesday, the corporate stated it had dropped their insurance coverage. 

The United Auto Workers union has a strike fund that can pay placing employees $250 a week and covers medical health insurance during the federal COBRA program for laid-off employees. But, in step with the UAW, the corporate minimize the advantages with out caution, earlier than any individual knew they wanted to join COBRA. 

“The company decided they were going to cut ’em yesterday before the union was ready to take over with our strike fund,” Al Tiller, store chairman of UAW Local 1005 in Parma, Ohio, advised Payday Report on Wednesday. 

Tiller stated some employees had been in fact not able to get well being care in consequence. 

“We’ve had a couple members who’ve been sick, they couldn’t get teated,” Tiller stated. “We’ve got a member with a kid who has cancer, went to get his treatment, and couldn’t get it.”

A GM spokesman stated that technically, no person skilled an opening of their insurance policy for the reason that COBRA coverage kicks in from the instant the strike began. 

“Medical and prescription drug benefits are continuous for striking workers, and benefits are even retroactive to the beginning of the strike for those that enroll in COBRA coverage,” the spokesman stated.

“Striking employees can enroll over the phone by calling the GM Benefits and Service Center at 800-489-4646,” he added. 

So if any person paid out of their very own pocket for well being care on Tuesday or Wednesday, they must be ready to join COBRA insurance coverage and receives a commission again. But Tiller stated that’s now not reasonable for any person who wishes most cancers remedy. 

“We don’t have $10,000 to put down to get reimbursed for,” he stated. 

Local UAW officers in Missouri “scrambled” to signal employees up for COBRA protection this week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday. And in Tennessee, the spouse of 1 GM employee described waking up from a $40,000 abdomen surgical procedure to be informed that her husband’s employer-sponsored medical health insurance had long gone away. 

“All of a sudden I am risking getting this major hospital bill we honestly couldn’t afford,” the girl advised WZTV.

It’s unclear how lengthy the paintings stoppage would possibly remaining. The main points of the negotiation for a brand new contract between GM and the UAW had been intently held; union officers have stated they would like higher wages and higher remedy of more moderen hires and brief employees, amongst different issues. 

In negotiations main as much as the strike, the corporate reportedly requested employees to pay 15% of the price of their well being advantages as an alternative of the three% or four% they pay now.

Pointing to the corporate’s really extensive earnings, a number of employees have advised HuffPost they don’t assume they should need to make primary concessions. 

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