October 27, 2020

Local 2195 Retiree Report


Since we have no meetings scheduled and it appears it will be that way until after the first of the year or until we are confident that the retirees can come together in a safe environment without fearing the dangers of COVID19.  This pandemic is real and since March it has already cost an estimated 225,000 lives as well as over 8 million that have tested positive. Many of our retirees can put names on those deaths family members and friends.  We have had a number of our retirees that have contracted this COVID-19.  Some have passed away, while some have recovered and are still feeling the effects. Others have come through with minor symptoms.  At present we have a few in the hospital.  The sad deal is there is no end in sight for the near future. Cool weather flu season has already produced numbers greater than any time since this pandemic was announced.  Over 81,000 new cases yesterday the highest number since the first announcement.  I like everyone else wish it would just go away the reality is we know that is not going to happen.  We can be part of cure or part of the problem.  Please respect yourself and others follow safety protocol; 1) wear a mask, 2) continue to use hand sanitizer and wash your hands, 3) keep a social distance and 4) do not engage in large crowds, especially with people you do not know.  We are told by the experts that these procedures can and would have helped save many lives.  Hopefully by the first of next year they will have developed and effective vaccine.  Everyone wants to get back to normal however that is not going to happen until this pandemic get under control.


I spend a lot time talking about this pandemic it is one of the most major and damning events we've seen in our life time.  There are a few other reason we need to think about this devastation and one is the enormous cost for the medical treatment of this disease.  I always have to remind people that our Retiree Health Care Benefits Plan which is considered a Cadillac Plan is totally independent of General Motors.  The money that supports the Plan or based on the investments of the monies that is in the fund.  Those investments have generated the necessary capital keep our health care intact. The Medical Plan is no different than and financial situation as long as there is more coming in than going out there is no problem.  Currently I'm told we have no financial issue and that is good news.


There are many things that impact retiree pensions, social security, Medicare and our independent health care coverage.   That is elections and who gets elected.  Will they support what we have? Will they help if needed? Will they improve on what we have? Or will they choose to pass laws that will impact our standard of living in a negative way.  There are ongoing threats against our social security and Medicare as we know it.  There have been talk and threats regarding the Congress not funding the P.B.G.C. which is already alleged to be under funded.  The Affordable Care Act is going to be heard at the Supreme Court on November 10.  The Republicans Majority in the Senate just completed ramming through a new Supreme Court Justice member.  They did this in record time and they went against everything they had said in the past about not confirming a Supreme Court Justice in a Presidential Election Year.  So what does this mean?  Number....one, it means that the Supreme Court balance has titled very heavy toward Corporate Interest and for many years will rule heavily against the interest of the middle class, blue collar workers and their representatives.

It boils down to this there is a lot to consider when you go vote and you have a big stake in the future decision that will be made. Please go vote.  


The UAW spends a lot of time and effort trying to determine who will help protect our pensions, healthcare and other benefits. You have received several mailings showing you what has been determined to be the best way you can help yourself protect you and your family.  Now it is up to you.


Another question that always comes up this time of the year is the open enrollment for Medicare Supplements.  If you are Medicare eligible your insurance coverage through our health care providers is your supplement (ex. Aetna, Blue Cross & Blue Shield.  Don't get involved with the advertisements that you receive in the mail, calls on the telephone or add you see on T.V.


In solidarity,

Chuck McDonald, Chairman


Please stay safe and take the necessary precautions.







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