GM, Which Made $8.1 Billion In Profit And Paid Its CEO $22 Million, Just Cancelled Health Benefits For 50,000 Workers
GM has abruptly cancelled health benefits for striking workers. And to make matters worse, the cancellation takes effect immediately. The company is pulling the plug on the healthcare coverage effective Tuesday, Sept. 17. That means the tab will have to be picked up by the union for workers to continue coverage. The same fund that pays workers $250 a week strike pay.
General Motors’ decision Tuesday to stop paying healthcare premiums for nearly 50,000 of the company’s striking workers offered a powerful case for why Medicare for All is necessary to ensure stable and quality insurance as a right for everyone in the United States.
That was the argument advanced by single-payer supporters in the wake of GM’s move, which union leaders and others quickly denounced as a cruel intimidation tactic designed to break the United Auto Workers strike.
“By taking healthcare off the bargaining table, workers can demand and win real gains in wages and pensions.”
Sara Nelson, president of the American Association of Flight Attendants, said employer-provided insurance allows corporations to use the threat of healthcare cuts “to hold workers hostage.”
“Medicare for All puts power back in our hands,” said Nelson.
Labor historian Toni Gilpin echoed Nelson, calling employer-provided healthcare “a cudgel that will be used against workers.”