UAW informs Maytag retirees of lost benefits
Timothy Johnson received a letter on July 15 from the United Auto Workers stating that after years of litigation with Whirlpool the retiree’s health benefits were going to change.
In 2008 Whirlpool filed a lawsuit against the UAW and Maytag retirees in federal Court in Des Moines requesting that Whirlpool have the authority to change health benefits for almost 3,000 former Maytag employees. The plan Whirlpool has placed them in is more costly for the retirees compared to the previous plan, which covered 100 percent of their health costs.
Ronald McInroy, director of the UAW Region 4, characterized the initial lawsuit in 2008 as a surprise attack and that it was politically motivated. In his letter, McInroy stated that Whirlpool wanted to be sure the case was filed in Iowa rather than Michigan where courts have historically been more favorable to unions in such lawsuits. The UAW argued that Whirlpool was required to uphold the retirees health benefits based on collective bargaining agreements.
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