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UFCW members protest Wal-Mart health care policies

12.20.07

January 2008 edition of the Union News

UFCW members protest Wal-Mart health care policies

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewabe@aol.com

SCRANTON, November 28th- The United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union, a long-time critic of the employment policies of Wal-Mart, conducted a 34-city community event outside their stores urging customers to demand the retailer threat their workers fairly.

On November 21st, members of WakeUpWalMart.com, a organization supported by UFCW, held a informational event in 34 cities across the nation.

Union members of UFCW Union Local 1776 participated in the event and asked customers to join them in urging the world’s largest retailer to act responsibly by paying fair wages, being less of a burden on American taxpayers by providing affordable health care to its employees, and making product safety a priority.

Earlier this year Wal-Mart attempted to improve its image by making changes to its health care policies for their employees.

However, according to a survey done by the company during its open enrollment period, most “associates” at the company choose not to participate in the plan at all. Critics said the reason is that even with its improvements, Wal-Mart health plans are still not affordable for many of its workers.

The survey showed that 90 percent of the 1.3 million person American Wal-Mart workforce has some form of health insurance, but just 47.4 percent have it through Wal-Mart. Of the remaining workers with insurance, 22.2 percent receive it through a spouse’s policy.

Nearly 10 percent of Wal-Mart workers have no coverage at all, and some 15 percent of those uncovered workers say they can’t afford the premiums.

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