Everybody's Got One
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Tuesday, January 14, 2003


So GE workers are striking for two days to protest rising medical co-payments. Are they mad at the health care providers for returning to double-digit cost inflation? No. Are they mad at government, for regulations that keep adding mandatory services to all providers' coverage plans? No. Are they mad at the union for negotiating a contract (I'm just guessing here) that limits or prohibits increases in employee contributions or benefit cuts, so that co-payment increases are the only possible way to spread increased costs? No.
They're pissed at GE, a consumer (like themselves) whose costs have increased 45% in the last four years, for not bearing the entire burden itself (what else are all those profits supposed to be for? Shareholders? Investing in operations? Please.) and thereby protecting loyal union members from economic reality. I can't remember a clearer instance of labor-action-as-tantrum. What a pack of maroons.

(To be fair, GE management is responsible for not giving the workers a choice: between higher co-payments, reduced benefits, layoffs .... or verifiable ways to increase productivity sufficient to cover the increased per-employee benefit costs. Now that would have been interesting.)

posted by Kelly | 10:10 PM link