General Motors changed health insurance costs for striking workers on Tuesday. The United Auto Workers across the country walked off the job Monday to demand a fair share of the corporation’s profits and affordable healthcare.
“We told UAW GM members that we would stand up for them and their future,” said Gary Jones, President of the UAW.
In response, GM announced they would be shifting healthcare costs to the union.
GM spokesman Jim Cain told CNBC: “We understand strikes are difficult and disruptive to families. While on strike, some benefits shift to being funded by the union’s strike fund, and in this case hourly employees are eligible for union-paid COBRA so their health care benefits can continue.”
The union is also concerned about job security because of recent GM plant closures. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All healthcare plan aims to make it so that no one is reliant on their job to have medical insurance.
According to the UAW, the strike fund covers prescription drugs for workers on strike but not dental, vision, or accident insurance.
Ted Krumm, national bargaining committee chair of UAW Local 652, said: “Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.”
In 2018, GM CEO Mary Barra earned $21.87 million.