(DALLAS) – From Thursday, August 24 to Saturday, August 26, Teamsters alerted participants at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas, about diesel engine maker Cummins Inc.’s (NYSE: CMI) attacks against family health care and the threat this poses to American families.
Once a socially responsible corporate leader, Cummins has adopted an extremely high deductible medical insurance plan for employees, which forces families to pay up to $6,000 out-of-pocket before insurance starts paying any portion of the medical bill.
Having recently brought its distribution and service segment in house, the company is moving to impose its unaffordable health plan on its mechanic shops across the United States.
Cummins mechanics in West Virginia, represented by Teamsters Local 175, are pushing back, and a growing movement of Cummins workers is aiming to reestablish affordable family health care at Cummins across its many sites.
In 2016, Cummins made nearly $2 billion in profit, and paid out $676 million of it to shareholders. The company employs more than 20,000 workers across the U.S.
“No one should be forced to gamble with their health,” said Ken Hall, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer and President of Local 175. “Cummins’ high deductible plans are a danger to all of our kids and all of our families. We will continue to push back.”
High deductible plans are spreading havoc. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls the plans “particularly inappropriate” for children because the high upfront out-of-pocket costs cause parents to hesitate on whether or not to see the doctor.
Research shows people under these plans put off visiting the doctor for preventive and necessary care. As a result, people are getting sicker and ultimately putting their lives in danger.
The huge out-of-pocket costs associated with high deductible medical plans force working families to cut back on other essentials such as food, clothing and education. It also causes families to run down their savings or go deeper into debt.
Teamsters Local 745 members distributed thousands of hand bills at the Great American Trucking Show and held banners that said “What’s Gone Wrong with Cummins?” They also handed out air fresheners which said “Every American Deserves Health Care.” All materials directed interested patrons to the Facebook page, Cummins Awful Truth, where an increasing number of Cummins employees across the country are connecting with the campaign for affordable health care.
“As Teamsters, many of us drive trucks with Cummins engines, on the job, and in our personal lives. We’re very troubled by how this once great American company is now cutting access to affordable family health care for its employees. Everyone deserves health care, and what Cummins is doing to its employees is a threat to all of us,” said Rod Cuevas, business agent with Local 745 in Dallas.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.