The 2,000 member Local 83761, IUE-CWA, in Louisville, Kentucky, has endorsed HR 676, the national single payer legislation, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, introduced into the House of Representatives by Democratic Congressman John Conyers of Michigan.
Local 83761 members make General Electric refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and other major appliances. The local is growing and expects to add another 460 members by the end of February.
Steven Wimsatt, Chairman of the Local’s COPE committee and State Political and Legislative Director of the Kentucky IUE-CWA, introduced the resolution to endorse HR 676.
“Health care is important to our members and one of the biggest benefits that you can get from a company,” said Wimsatt, “but it’s getting harder and harder to negotiate a contract with health care in it.”
Explaining why the local took this step, Wimsatt said, “So, very simply, if we had a national health care plan that all members could be in, then we wouldn’t have to be in a confrontational position over health care with GE during the contract negotiations.”
Wimsatt added, “There is an excise tax that will come in a few years under the health reform that passed that will make it almost impossible to afford a plan, and it would be a penalty for having a good health care plan. Because of this it’s even more important that we win single payer health care.”
The endorsement of HR 676 was passed unanimously at the December Executive Board and membership meetings.