Health Benefits in New Teamsters Contract May Serve as Model for Unions
The Teamsters union has agreed to a tentative five-year contract with some of the nation's largest trucking companies that would allow members to retain comprehensive health benefits, an agreement that could serve as a model for other unions, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the National Master Freight Agreement, the 65,000 Teamsters members would continue to receive comprehensive health benefits and would not have to pay deductibles or premiums. The agreement also would increase employer contributions to member pension and health benefit funds by $3.10 per hour per worker to about $11.10 per hour over the next five years. Other unions, such as two large unions that represent thousands of General Electric employees and United Auto Workers, could point to the health care provisions in the agreement in negotiations with employers later this year (Tejada/Machalaba, Wall Street Journal, 2/7). The International Union of Electrical-Communications Workers of America and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America -- the two unions with nationwide contracts with GE -- held a two-day strike last month to protest increases in employee health care costs. The strike included about 20,000 employees (California Healthline, 1/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.