Mike Worrell, Recording Secretary of Aero Lodge 735, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, in Nashville, Tennessee, reports that his union has endorsed HR 676, national single payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers. HR 676, known as Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, has 63 co-sponsors in the current Congress.
“Health care is a big part of the collective bargaining process. It gets more expensive for the companies and the union, and we believe a single payer plan will benefit everyone,” said Worrell.
Aero Lodge 735 represents 651 members at four different companies. The members are employed in a variety of jobs from making parts for Air Bus and Gulf Stream business jets, to making seals, driving shuttle buses and making fans.
“During bargaining for the last fifteen years, the companies have been asking for more for less health care,” said Worrell. “When we received the letter asking us to endorse HR 676, we talked it over and everybody agreed at the meeting.”
The letter encouraging endorsement of HR 676 was from the All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care and from Dr. Art Sutherland, a retired Memphis cardiologist and state coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program of Tennessee.
Worrell also took the resolution to the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee where he serves as Secretary of that organization of 16,000 workers in 40 local unions. Both the Executive Board and the membership of the CLC reaffirmed their support for HR 676 and passed the resolution.
“Unions led the way in other industrialized countries to assure universal coverage with good care through a form of single payer. We can do it too,” states the resolution.
A copy of the resolution passed by Aero Lodge 735 and by the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee is available here: http://unionsforsinglepayer.org/tools/sample_resolution
Dr. Sutherland has offered to provide a speaker on single payer to those Tennessee local unions or labor councils that would like to have one.