General Motors has reinstated health care benefits for striking United Autoworkers (UAW) members as the second week of the union's strike against GM continues. As Scott Sandefur explained in a letter to Dittes, "We want all of our employees to know that their health and well-being are our top priority", so "GM has chosen to work with our providers to keep all benefits fully in place for striking hourly employees, so they have no disruption to their medical care, including vision, prescription and dental coverage".
GM has argued that its offer to the union "prioritizes employees, communities and builds a stronger future for all".
United Auto Workers, Aramark workers carry strike signs while picketing outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. September 15, 2019.
The UAW had accused GM of blindsiding its members with the decision to drop coverage during the strike, and some workers had claimed they could not pay their medical bills as a result.
That move to pull health care benefits outraged union members and UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, the chief bargainer at the table with GM, had urged the company to reinstate its plan through the end of the month.
The UAW also said it was prepared to continue its strike and called on local union around the country to prepare for another "Solidarity Sunday" this coming weekend.
General Motors is restoring health care to hourly workers in Bowling Green, and across the nation, who are on strike for a second week. Dittes wrote in a letter to GM management dated September 26. One plant and part of another have been closed in Canada.
Between that announcement and Thursday's health insurance reversal, some workers are optimistic that the strike is nearly over.
On Detroit-zone picket lines Thursday, laborers said GM's reclamation of social insurance advantages settles on them imagine that an agreement understanding is close.
People conversant in the talks said progress had been made; however, the two sides are still grappling with issues over pay and job safety of newer and temporary staff.