Oct. 21, 2005 – Possibly smelling an opportunity following the recently announced deal between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors to shift a greater share of health care costs onto the shoulders of workers, two more automobile manufacturers are seeking similar compromises from unionized workers.
Two days ago, the head of the US wing of DaimlerChrysler said the company would ask the UAW to approve a plan similar to the one it reached with GM.
That GM agreement, according to a UAW statement reached yesterday, requires most retired employees to pay $10 monthly for individual health care coverage and $21 for a family plan. Additionally, current employees would be forced to pay an undisclosed amount in administrative fees and both active and retired GM workers would pay a co-payment for prescription medication, according to a UAW statement released yesterday. The agreement, which must be ratified by UAW members, is projected to save GM $3 billion a year.
Analysts who spoke to Reuters said they expect a Chrysler-UAW agreement modeled on the GM deal would net the company over $3.5 billion a year in savings.
Ford Motor Company Chief Operations Officer Jim Padilla has told reporters that his company would "expect comparable changes."