General Motors reinstates healthcare for striking UAW workers

General Motors reinstates healthcare for striking UAW workers

Reversing a move from last week, General Motors has chose to reinstate health benefits for more than 48,000 workers now on strike.

The letter from GM Vice President Terry Sandefur says the company was concerned about confusion surround its decision to cut off health insurance for striking workers on September 17, two days after the strike started.

Workers' rights supporters celebrated Thursday after General Motors caved to pressure and agreed to continue paying healthcare premiums for thousands of striking workers. "This back and forth will continue until Negotiations are complete", Terry Dittes, the UAW's to negotiator said in a message to the more than 48,000 UAW members on strike. Speaking while on the picket line outside the Corvette Assembly Plant, Greene, 58, said good medical benefits trump a paycheck.

After the strike began on September 16, the company said it would end benefits, to the fury of workers and politicians alike.

The Democratic candidates have echoed the striking workers in saying GM employees deserve fair treatment from the Detroit automaker they helped get through bankruptcy, and several criticized GM for its previous decision to stop paying for the workers' health insurance.

'Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our company, ' a GM spokesperson told ABC News on Thursday. GM immediately shifted responsibility for the health insurance to the union's strike fund.

The strike has led to lay GM plants and joint ventures in OH and Ontario, Canada, not represented by the UAW.

"It should not have taken stories about UAW GM workers who faced losing their cancer drugs or postponing their surgery dates for GM to see their workers as human beings, not pawns on a chess board", Jason Kaplan, a representative of the UAW, told FOX Business.

The walkout - the longest autoworker strike in nearly 30 years - has become a political occasion, attracting the attention of Democratic presidential hopefuls, who've been visiting the striking employees on the picket strains. Temps are union members doing the same work as permanent employees, but earning half the pay and far fewer benefits.

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