It's widely known that UAW workers have better than average health and dental coverage. That coverage makes up a sizable chunk of GM's labor costs, which the automaker wants to reduce through its pending contract with the UAW. Though copies of the contract in various states have been leaked, no one has taken a good look yet at what will happen to the UAW worker's health and dental coverage if the contract is approved.
The Detroit Free Press took a crack at investigating the new contract and found some interesting items. While the oft cited VEBA account will take care of retired workers' health care, their benefits will not change unless the VEBA starts losing money. Active workers, however, will see their choices of health and dental plans reduced. We won't get into the nitty gritty, suffice it to say that higher co-pays and a smaller pool of doctors from which to choose is on its way.

It's hard to be sympathetic, however, considering that today most of the U.S. workforce endures health care plans that are half as comprehensive as they were a decade ago. To expect GM not to follow suit with the rest of corporate America and remain competitive is wishful thinking.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]


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