Who pays for the health care insurance for the striking workers?
Effective Tuesday, GM employees on strike were no longer covered under the company’s plan. Instead, they will be eligible to sign up for medical assistance or COBRA from the United Autoworkers Union. The change doesn't represent a loss in health care, just a transition of coverage.
In a statement GM said: “We understand strikes are difficult and disruptive to families. While on strike, hourly employees will be eligible for COBRA so their health care benefits can continue."
In a letter to the UAW obtained by CNN Business, Scott Sandefur, a vice president at GM, confirmed the company will no longer be paying for employees’ coverage. “Our employees should be eligible for COBRA paid for by the UAW fund so that their health care benefits continue. As a result, we believe that our employees, and your members will not suffer any loss of health care coverage,” Sandefur wrote.
The UAW initially told its members on Monday that their company coverage would continue until the end of the month. But union VP Terry Dittes said that indeed members will need to sign up for medical assistance or COBRA. The UAW has activated its strike fund to pick up the cost.