GM drops health coverage for Spring Hill, other union workers amid strike

Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 19:42:58-04

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the middle of the ongoing battle between General Motors workers and the company, are families worried about their health coverage.

As nearly 50,000 workers across the country strike after their union group UAW and GM failed to negotiate a new contract, the company decided to drop its health coverage. Roughly 3,300 employees are demanding for better wages, share profits, and job security for temporary workers who do the same job as everyone else but see no change in pay or benefits.

So for mothers like Brooke Wilkerson, the choice for GM to stop paying health care benefits for striking members only seemed like an act of retaliation.

“It was a really spiteful move because the insurance is already paid for through the month, so it is literally only harming the families,” Wilkerson told NewsChannel 5.

Wilkerson and her family moved from Kentucky to Tennessee so her husband could work for GM. The health insurance was what attracted them in the first place to help her children with heart complications.

Her 3-year-old son had an open-heart surgery when he was only four months old. He suffers from a congenital heart defect. “He’ll require lifelong medical care,” she said.

Wilkerson’s eldest daughter also has an ear transplant and will require appointments in the future. While UAW is providing medical assistance under COBRA, it has to use the pool money it keeps for strikes.

Wilkerson said she is thankful but doesn’t know exactly how it’ll fully help her children. She knows COBRA doesn’t cover her daughter’s hearing needs.

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles publicly asked for GM to reinstate the medical benefits in a press conference on Wednesday. He told NewsChannel 5 that he hasn’t heard from GM.