UAW negotiator: GM retirees won't pay higher health care fees

Until a contract is actually signed a GM retiree would be foolish to believe that they would not be paying more for health care.
UAW negotiator: GM retirees won't pay higher health care fees
FLINT -- The United Auto Workers' top negotiator on its General Motors Corp.'s bargaining team vowed that retirees won't have to pay more for their health care in the next national contract.
"I can tell you one thing, we are determined not to put any more costs on retirees for their health care," said Cal Rapson, UAW vice-president, during a Saturday afternoon speech given to hundreds of UAW members, retirees and their supporters, at the Sloan Museum. Rapson, and UAW president Ron Gettelfinger attended the opening of a labor exhibit at the Flint museum.
The UAW is in talks with GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC to replace labor contracts that expire Sept. 14. Rapson said he and Gettelfinger had been in contract negotiations Saturday morning in Detroit and intended to bargain throughout the Labor Day weekend -- a sign contract talks were heating up.
Retiree health care is a key issue in the negotiations. The Big Three automakers have repeatedly said the current billion-dollar costs of retiree health care is crippling them against their foreign competitors and the next UAW contract needs to bring massive relief to those costs. Retiree health-care liabilities totaled $64 billion at GM last year.
GM wants the union to take responsibility for retiree health care. Last month, GM officially asked the UAW to take over the administration of health care benefits for more than 1.5 million current and retired employees and their families. The automaker proposed making massive, one-time cash payment to create a UAW-managed fund that would free the automakers from future responsibility for retiree health care.
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