By Barbara Estrin, Oct 6, 2019
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” Joe Biden declared on the day that General Motors (already holding out for higher medical co-pays and deductibles in the new contract) cut strikers’ health insurance, forcing the union to pay for COBRA. On Sept. 26, GM restored worker health benefits, but the issue of employer-based insurance remains.
Although the strike might be settled by the time this letter is printed, the truth is GM workers are not alone: 28 percent of people on an employer plan will not be on that same plan one year later.
You like your employer health plan? You better cross your fingers, because 1-in-4 people on employer plans will come off their plan in the next 12 months.
The GM workers’ strike changes the stance of unions. Workers are not only striking for consistent health benefits, they are also striking against the “gig economy,” which puts some GM workers outside the benefit package altogether. By 2020, the number of self-employed or part-time employees is expected to reach 42 million. And the autoworkers union is fighting to make more workers full-time....