Thirteen years after it broke ground by becoming one of the first large corporations in the US offering benefits to same-sex couples, General Motors made more trailblazing news this week when it said it will begin treating same-sex couples as married, even if they live in a state that doesn't allow gay marriage.
When General Motors was on the verge of bankruptcy, cuts were made to salaried workers' pay and benefits. The move was important to help preserve as much cash as possible while also showing the federal government and the United Auto Workers that everybody in the company was making a sacrifice. Some might even say that salaried employees sacrificed more than others, as thousands were given pink slips and all lost health care benefits after age 65.
The Big 3 have been trying to shave their health care costs by cutting eligibility and the percentage of benefits for both retirees and current employees, but as it turns out, the three companies have found tens of thousands of people still receiving benefits despite their ineligibility. As a result, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Group are purging their health care rosters and even forcing reimbursement from some of those on the lists.
Could Delphi's bankruptcy be a strategic long-term move by the parts maker? According to Business Week, Delphi has only declared bankruptcy for its U.S. operations-- overseas facilities in Mexico, China and other countries are not affected. If the unions and Delphi don't reach a compromise later this year, and bankruptcy courts approve the company's request to void its union contracts, only 7,000 of the 32,000 union members would be retained. Production would then be shouldered by the overs
According to the International Herald Tribune, Michigan physicians, hospitals and medical insurers have noted an increase in the number of elective surgery requests since last year. Replacements for knees, hips and shoulders were up by 20 percent at the Henry Ford Health System alone.
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