Cleveland, Ohio – The United Auto Workers’ (UAW’s) strike against General Motors (GM) continues, but the automaker has resumed health insurance payments for striking workers following sharp criticism from politicians.
At the start of the strike, which is now in its second week, GM ceased health insurance payments for striking workers, saying the UAW could ensure workers continue to receive health benefits through expensive COBRA continuing coverage rules.
The union and several Democratic politicians criticized the move which had been expected to occur only if the strike dragged on without a resolution. Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren loudly criticized GM’s decision at political rallies.
Then, about a week after saying it would stop paying for care, GM officials reversed the decision. The timing coincides with signs that the strike may be entering its final phase.
Though the automaker and union appear far apart on issues ranging from the use of temporary workers and work guaranties for closed facilities, subcommittees dealing with smaller issues have finished their work, leaving all remaining decisions for the chief company and union bargainers.
UAW officials said they have submitted their proposals to the company and are waiting for responses.