CarterB wrote:Like it or not, companies are moving to 'right to work' states, and even many northern states are changing their laws for 'right to work' as well. The unions have overplayed their benefits packages, including "cadillac" health care coverages vis a vis what the
rest of the working class get's these days. The competitive cost analyses tell the story, when competing against imports particularly.
Unions trying to politically 'hold the line' is more and more falling on deaf ears.
For what it is worth, no one is required to belong to the union at the Erie plant, that is a big misconception that many are not aware of. That being said, I personally do not know of anyone that doesn't. As far as health care goes, for a family of three, I pay a weekly contribution of approximately $50, which I don't think anyone would complain about. There is also a spouse coverage penalty which means if your spouse is not a GE employee and is offered insurance which is denied and said spouse is covered under the employees insurance, you pay a weekly penalty. If memory serves, was $30 a week. Now, the first $2K in medical cost, including prescriptions comes out of the employees pocket (GE does give employees a funded HRA account which varies depending on the plan chosen and number of dependents which averages $900 annually). After that threshold is met, insurance pays 80% and employee pays 20% as long as you stay within plan provider list for the next $12.5K. The plan covers 100% of medical expenses ones you exceed $14.5K annually. So assuming one passes that threshold, the medical insurance cost would be as follows:
annual contributions:$50 x 52 weeks=$2600
spouse penalty (if applicable):$30 x 52=$1560
initial deductible: $2000-$900=$1300
20% of $12.5K=$2500
total cost= $7960 annual cost to employee for medical expenses totaling $14,500.00 which is about $3.85 per hour cost. That is roughly 12.7% of the average wage earned at the Erie plant. My point trying to be made is not that I am complaining, I just would not call this a Cadillac health care plan, IMHO.