Tuesday, July 05, 2011

[Whirlpool: $17 Billion Annual Profit]

[Whirlpool] Hoover retirees ponder options in wake of health insurance change

...Whirlpool has told workers it will end supplemental medical and pharmacy coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees who are 65 or older. The plan will be replaced by a stipend of up to $50 a month to help pay for a Medicare supplemental plan and $35 per month to help cover the cost of a Medicare Part D supplemental pharmacy plan.

Younger retirees will be offered a health savings account plan and wellness-focused program instead of current company-provided health care. The new plan matches one now offered to Whirlpool employees...

...Retirees contend planned changes violate contracts that Hoover and its employees approved over the years.

“This is supposed to be vested for our lives,” Kassey said. “I don’t know how anyone thinks that this is even close to what they promised us when we retired.”

Repace said Local 1985 routinely negotiated contracts that covered the needs or retirees, including health insurance benefits. He said the proposed change does away with the negotiated plan. “They cannot do that.”

John Zawaski Jr., who retired after 36 years, said it doesn’t seem right for Whirlpool to change health insurance plans.

“We gave up wages in order to get better insurance coverage, so it wasn’t exactly free,” he said...


$17 Billion Annual Profit:
Happy birthday Whirlpool ... and many more

...Whirlpool has grown to number 67,000 employees [how many in foreign countries where labor & environmental laws are non-existent?] and sales of $17 billion annually.

Construction of a new $85 million campus of three office buildings on the riverfront in downtown Benton Harbor is under way. Maintaining Whirlpool's global headquarters and administrative offices in Benton Harbor is a major commitment to the area's tax base and employment.