Friday, July 06, 2007

Veba ~ USWA & Goodyear ?


As had been agreed by the United Steelworkers union and Goodyear, the union and some retirees on July 3 filed a required class action lawsuit against the company on behalf of all USW retirees. This expected lawsuit is a necessary step in the process of gaining legal approval to establish an independent Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association trust (VEBA) for USW retiree healthcare benefits. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. "During our 2006 master contract negotiations, Goodyear and the USW agreed to establish a VEBA trust for USW retiree healthcare benefits, subject to court approval. The class action lawsuit is a required step in the process of gaining legal approval to create the VEBA," said Tom Broderick, director of compensation and benefits for Goodyear. The court will review details of the VEBA as a way to resolve Goodyear’s retiree healthcare obligations. During 2006 negotiations, Goodyear and the USW signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the company would contribute $1 billion to a VEBA to provide healthcare benefits to current and future USW retirees. If the court certifies a class of retirees and gives preliminary approval to the VEBA settlement, members of the class will have an opportunity to review it. Following that, the court will conduct a fairness hearing to determine whether or not the settlement will take effect, and a final court judgment will then be issued. If the settlement is approved, the obligations for USW retiree healthcare will be transferred to the VEBA trust and Goodyear’s current and future post-employment healthcare benefits liability related to the USW workforce, approximately $1.2 billion, will be eliminated. Goodyear and the USW anticipate the court approval process will take several months.

Editorial : This was written in the Union City Today Newspaper > 7/06/07 ? I`m not sure that a lawsuit was negotiated ? Need a little help on this one ? I do !
"Saving America"

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