Both of my grandfathers retired from General Motors which thanked them earlier this month for their years of dedication and hard work by cutting their health benefits. That is right, my 84 year old grandmother, who has already had a hip replacement and other surgeries will no longer have health care coverage. My grandfather who is in his late 70s and a lymphoma survivor and his wife who is living with MS will also be out.
Why? On July 15th, GM announced “as part of a $15 billion liquidity improvement, it will no longer provide health care coverage in retirement.” (Here is full article) This is done for salaried retirees, not union workers. These are the people who for years help build GM into the motor vehicle powerhouse that it is. These are the people that I grew up listening to tell me that they would only buy GM cars and encouraged me to do the same, which I have. These are the employees who spent countless hours behind computer screens and drafting tables helping a company they believed in and enjoyed working for. Now how are they repaid?
Bottom line mentality has taken over once again and GM is in a panic on how to be profitable this year. US Airways already zapped most of my mother-in-law’s retirement during their bankrupting endeavors. HP is buying EDS, the company my dad works for and he doesn’t know how this will effect his 30 years of working and building up a retirement, which some is from his time with, wait for it……….GM. Big business is once again letting their employees down.
I understand the purpose of a company/business is to make money. I understand they have investors, board members, and other desk jockeys they have to appease. Why is our economy in the tank? Why is the dollar down and forcing gas and food to soar? It boils down to US companies who care more about their bottom line than people. People work scared to work their hardest, to put their all into a company because they know they are expendable. Once their salary gets too high, once they get a little to old, even after years of service, they live in constant fear, a couple of bad months and it will be all for nothing.
This leaves my grandparents now searching for a way to have health care in the most vital time in which they need it. GM has promised to increase their pension checks by $300 a month though. Salt in the wounds…salt in the wounds. I cannot even cover myself, my wife, or even my two year old on $300 a month. I don’t see it possible for an person in their golden years with NOW preexisting conditions to get anything adequate for that.
We live in a greedy world. A world concentrated on itself and What’s In It For Me (WIFM). The days of company picnics, Christmas bonuses, an office that cares about the individual are gone. They are no more (unless you design websites like by brother-in-law, and works in a house/office, with a pool, video games, and season tickets for all employees to an amazement park with designated Play Days during the season). Big Business keeps perpetuating the feeling that the only one who can take care of me, is me. No one else will do it.
There’s probably a sermon in that…