GM Announces "Tentative Agreement" With UAW on Health Care

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

They've struggled with the issue for months. GM says they cannot afford to continue paying full health benefits for retirees, workers, and their families. Now, GM says the unions agreed to help.

It will mean opening up the current contract and it's not clear what exactly will be done. GM says it will mean $15 billion in future savings on retiree health care and $3 billion for employee health care. They had expected to spend $5.6 billion on health care this year alone.

Much of GM's health care spending covers retirees. Their medical costs are higher and they outnumber current workers by nearly three to one. Changes to GM health care coverage could mean big adjustments for thousands of Mid-Michigan retirees.

"The organizers did a good job planning for the future, and I'm enjoying that future," says 77-year-old retiree Curtis Dunn.

After a quarter-century with the company, they foot the bill for all but seven percent of his medical costs. If the contract is re-opened at retiree's expense, he says he'll be the first to lobby for change if change is an option, but if not, he's just looking for fair.

"I think all of us would feel okay as long as it was across the board from the top down," Dunn says.

Dunn and all UAW membership will have an opportunity to vote on the proposal. Union leaders will be in Detroit to learn details sometime this week.


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