Motors' (GM) lead and sign a similar deal with unions
to reduce its retiree healthcare costs.
Chrysler hopes to follow GM deal...
Court to Review GM-Union Deal - Approval Needed
for Cuts in Retirees' Health Benefits
Health Insurance Imploding
For its part, the United Auto Workers, one of the nation's
most powerful unions, is apparently prepared to swallow
this hit to organized labor's most sacrosanct benefit to
forestall additional job cuts.
We have reached a critical turning point in the decline
of health care in the United States, one almost certain to
expand the already appalling figure of 45 million people
lacking health coverage nationwide.
"It's not just a breaching of the social contract that's existed
between companies and workers," said David Autor, an
associate professor of economics at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. "It's a reflection of how health
care costs are out of control.
"Hopefully this will be an opportunity for government and
companies to rethink how health care is provided," he added.
"The old system is clearly breaking down."