Let’s ignore that for a minute and take a look at the recent grocery contract settlement in Southern California. If you can wade through all the media hype and UFCW propaganda you may notice a slight mention of Health Savings Accounts in some of the articles.
Yes, UFCW is now congratulating itself on the recent contract calling it “a huge victory for grocery workers” as they negotiated all of the Southern California members into a HSA program.
So, before this contract settlement what was UFCW saying about Health Savings Accounts?
On the international union’s webpage you can read a news release entitled “Why HSAs are not the solution.”
- “The bottom line is that HSAs will end up costing consumers more money while providing less health care”
- “HSA plans will discourage preventive care, ultimately increasing the cost of health care in the United States”
- “Racial and ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately from chronic conditions and are so less likely to benefit from HSAs”
- “HSA plan actually could increase the number of Americans without health insurance”
- “HSAs would undermine employer-sponsored group insurance”
Next, let’s look at what UFCW said on their wakeupwalmart.com page where they routinely bash everything Wal-Mart does. When Wal-Mart implemented HSAs, here is what the UFCW said about it:
- “Health Savings Accounts Won't Save Health Care”
- “HSAs are a backdoor for large profitable companies, like Wal-Mart, to further reduce or even eliminate health benefits for hard-working Americans. By shifting health care costs away from employers and on to workers, HSAs will not only undermine employer-based health plans, where two-thirds of Americans get coverage, but will force even more workers and their families to go without health care.”
- “HSAs are a huge step backward for working families and do nothing to solve our nation's health care crisis.”
There is even a web based petition you can sign to support the wakeupwalmart.com position by saying “no to the Wal-Mart/Bush-backed HSAs and yes to corporations paying their fair share for health care.”
To be clear, I’m not repeating all this to say HSAs are bad (I have one myself and like it) or the UFCW should not have negotiated HSAs in Southern California (although the devil is in the details, a subject for another post). It is simply to reinforce how two-faced the UFCW international union officials are even with their own members.
Prior to this contract, UFCW made it sound like HSAs were a tool of the devil. But when they decide to negotiate them, it is a “huge victory for grocery workers”.
Rian Wathen is a former 15-year UFCW officer who was banished from the kingdom when he pointed out the emperor had no clothes.