Bill Ford, the executive chairman of the second largest US automaker has announced the company is mulling a health care co-op after the problem arose within the contract negotiations ongoing with the United Auto Workers union.
The executive has commented on the matter during an even in Inkster, Michigan, honoring company volunteers, and has added he forecasts a positive settlement for the upcoming four-year agreement that would take charge when the current one expires on September 14. The UAW has also raised the issue of a health-care pool because of the previous success of a $61 billion fund initiated back in 2010 and tasked to deliver medical coverage for more than 750,000 retired auto workers. The UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust was able to lower the drug usage costs, introduced preventive care and reintroduced benefits such as dental and vision care while also being successful in terms of financial assets.
“We’re discussing it and we’ll see where it goes,” Ford said about the proposed co-op, which could deliver health care to around 295,000 union and nonunion workers. “There are always issues and it’s early days, but I feel great.”
The idea of establishing a health-care cooperative for active union and nonunion employees at Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was introduced back in June by UAW’s president Dennis Williams. On the other hand, Ford has complained about its rising labor costs – according to the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the average at Ford is of $57 an hour, $10 more than at FCA US and $2 more than at General Motors.