Healthcare costs continue to multiply in the US with no clear end in sight, but the United Auto Workers and the Big Three are negotiating a way to rapid growth under control. As part of the latest contract talks, the union has an idea to create a healthcare pool across all of its members at Ford, General Motors, and FCA US. If accepted, the company-wide integration would spread out the expenses and create a massive member base for bargaining with insurance companies.

Both Ford and GM are at least considering the proposal, according to The Detroit News, and FCA US might be on board, as well. The idea is the work of current UAW president Dennis Williams and is based on the similar pool for the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association for retirees. "I've walked through this several ways; I just don't have any other answer," Williams said to The Detroit News. "I do believe this will work. It's worked with the VEBA."

Williams was elected UAW president last year and won by an overwhelming margin. He vowed no more concessions to automakers. In addition to healthcare, the two-tier wage system is another major talking point in the contract negotiation because it gives fewer benefits to entry-level workers. Higher wages are also a request.

Healthcare costs are a massive expense for automakers and are expected to reach over $2 billion this year, according to The Detroit News. The payments are up nearly 50 percent or more in just the last four years.


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