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'Heartless and Unconscionable': Outrage as General Motors Cuts Off Healthcare for 50,000 Striking Workers

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/18/heartless-and-unconscionable-outrage-general-motors-cuts-healthcare-50000-striking


How easily we forget what Unions mean to America and some of the globe. From child labor laws to the 5 day work week they have been the backbone of workers everywhere. I think we can thank those snort snort koke/coke/koch bro’s for this. If someone does die can GM be held liable? I sure do hope so. Don’t get made and quit, Unionize!


Bernies comments were something that Americans really need to take to heart. A single payer system would not only guarantee coverage for every American in any circumstance, but it would also serve as the single biggest workers rights legislation ever signed into law. Imagine companies actually having to negotiate wages, working conditions and retirement benefits again as the biggest benefit, healthcare, would be off the table. Not only would it spur on the re implementation of private pension plans and increase wages overnight, it would encourage entrepreneurial ventures as well.
That’s why corporate America will never allow Single Payer. And why they see this UAW GM strike as their line in the sand. If the oligarchs win here, the other remaining big unions, particularly the US postal workers, are not long for this earth.


Hey Jake,
Off the job = no paycheck and no benefits.
True for over four generations.
Coal miners, auto assemblers, boiler makers, railroad, teamsters - which means drivers.

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What’s your point?
Hopefully is is that Owners and Corps have always been vengeful vindictive union busting assholes, I hope.


Not to worry, the Republicans among the strikers will start a back to work movement. All will have their health uninsurance premiums increased by 25%, GM will save a few billion a year and use the profits to buy back shares and finish moving to Mexico. Thanks to Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump. Oh, forgot, also the UAW misleadership. Most awaiting trial for corruption.

My bothers and sisters of organized labor, take personal charge of your destiny. Don’t let fear mongering, scabs, backstabbers and rumors deter you. I spent 119 days on strike against the steel industry in 1959, it was tough but we prevailed.


you are wrong.
pointing out that the writer has no exposure, experience working.
as a union represented employee.

not every boss, manager, corp. is an ogre.

No. No I’m not. Corporations are all, not a few ALL run by sociopathic greedmongering con-men And con-women. And an author can write about any topic as long as it is researched. Are you a journalist? If not by your logic you cannot comment on this person’s work.


If this escalates , General Motors will close all assembly and sub-assembly plants in North America…and if they leave, here is language in place that allows the parent company to take all Pensions funds with them. No more pension cheques for past and present retiree’s…none. There’s an important lesson to be learned here if we are honest, open minded and willing. Capitalism does not have working Canadians best interests at heart. Capitalism is unethical and immoral. Stephen Lewis was wrong…the N.D.P. " Waffle" Caucus was right. Canada should have started it’s own electric car industry 60 years ago. A Government of Canada “Crown Venture” should have been created with work spread all across Canada. https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-regina-manifesto-1933-co-operative-commonwealth-federation-programme-fu
Mr. Blair M. Phillips
St. Catharines
Retired GM of Canada employee
UAW/ CAW & TCA / Unifor
Local 199


You can thank Unions for that. Or have you forgotten your history? I think you have.
Try to ponder why the Gilded Age was called that.


No, I have been union since 1947 railroad boiler maker.

Actually, most union and non-union manufacturing shops in the northwest territories have been and are HUMANE.
To satisfy the customer, we must produce a high quality product efficiently for a reasonable price.
ALL employees must be able to focus.

If you want to sit around and chat all day, go salary.

Where ownership is selfish, not caring - they have high employee turn over, shoddy quality and can only sell based on lowest price - which means outsourcing the parts contract to some one in mexico, china, etc.

Good for you. I was in the Teamsters 3 month strike in 1970 AND retired in 2001 at the ripe old age of 54 with a $3200.00 month pension.

Union YES !!!


Pretty much describes all the business owners in my “right to work” state. High employee turnover rate is expected by employers and working people 32 hrs/wk or less is the norm. As long as they aren’t working 40 hrs/wk, they aren’t full-time and that means legally being able to deny any kind of benefits. Employees have the “right to work” and that’s all. The employers dictate the rest which is everything and if you don’t like it then you have only one choice and that is to leave hence the high employee turnover. What you are experiencing is a fantasy world around here. Perhaps you should get out more. Perhaps you’ll learn that employees need you on their side more than the employers do.


That there hasn’t been blood yet is amazing.


It looks and sounds like, to me, a general, nationwide strike is what is needed! How to accomplish that, don’t know right now, but, I do think itt could be a good idea, and now would be a very good time to do it!


Corporations are not democracies and in them is were our fascist government hides.


Greetings. Not EVERY boss, manager, corporation is evil, but capitalism and the vertical hierarchy in most workplaces inherently exploit workers.
Employers naturally gravitate towards exploitation.
Take a look at what was done to workers before unions, child labor laws, and FDR.
They were treated like cattle, and worse.
Indeed, power corrupts, and corporations are the most corrupt “people” you’ll meet.
Watch this movie and you’ll see just how bad it really is:


Let’s let this heartless incident become a blessing in disguise as it provides one more fine example of how “Medicare for All” needs to be a reality right NOW. Healthcare needs to be separate from one’s work. BTW, GM workers must unionize or at least continue to stick together to get the pay and conditions they demand.


“Sanders said GM’s move spotlights the urgent need for a healthcare system under which workers’ insurance cannot be yanked away at the whim of corporate executives.”

Sounds like one more demand that will need to be met if GM ever expects to make another vehicle in the U.S. If GM is serious about bussing in scabs, the UAW needs to get serious about making sure it never happens, by any means necessary. I suggest physically occupying and shutting down the plants, driving the stock price down to where the UAW can buy a controlling interest. Maybe they could get the employees of the insurance carrier to threaten a strike unless the company also terminates the health coverage of management. Maybe the towns where these plants exist can impose fees on the bussing of scabs, or the idling of plants. After all, these mill towns depend on the wages of the workers, they’re not where the executives spend their money. Solidarity has to come from somewhere. Maybe some union pension funds can - in the estimable Warren Zevon’s words - “send lawyers, guns, and money.”


Health CARE should NEVER be attached to, or dependent on, employment. It is a human right which ALL people have. Continuing the cruel, inefficient system we put up with in this country is foolish and deadly.

Medicare for All is the only way to make US health care what it should always have been: CARE, not insurance for profits.