Negotiators acknowledged that many retirees do not recognize that the UAW is limited in its ability to negotiate for retirees under the contract, and many may not be aware of extended benefits such as legal support. “All bonuses or earnings for people who are already retired are allowed, but not mandatory,” says Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, laboratory and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. “The union can ask, and the company can say no. Pensioners do not vote on the agreement. If we have to put more money in the pockets of the people who will vote on the agreement, they will. Detroit Three retirees are not receiving their expected bonus in the new UAW contract. The UAW is proud of the important role that retirees play in our union. The surviving retirees and spouses of our union belong to the Local Uniond Retired Workers Chapters and Women`s Auxiliaries, as well as to the pensioners` councils of the territory`s retirees. It is this structure that allows our retirees, and retirees, to have a strong voice – not only in our union, but also in the communities and states where they live. The 2019 contract, ratified in October by 48,000 GM employees, did not contain any pension bonuses offered by the company in the past.

In 2015, this was a one-time payment of $500 for retirees. The Independent Medical Plan for Retirees, which was moved in 2007 to a self-funded UAW program while Detroit automakers were working to reduce costs, changes performance programs based on the number of retirees who need coverage and what is needed to keep the program viable. Automakers do not fund the program on an ongoing basis. Voluntary payments from retirees and surviving spouses amounting to $36 per year, as well as voluntary withdrawals of $24 from current spouses, payment for legislative activities, education and other projects for retirees. Randy Bryant, 61, of Monroe, retired from the Ford monroe plant after 32 years with the company and produced stabilizer bars in vehicles. “They took an annual bonus of 250 $US negotiated in 2015. No one said anything about it. UAW retirees are activists in every respect: from public service activities to political campaigns, UAW retirees bring their time and talents to make a difference. However, VEBA is only available to retirees who, before the contract came into force in 2007, were either active or retired, Dziczek said.

No one has access to the VEBA. It is also important to remember the total number of doorbells compared to abdominal buttons. The sector says there may be 332,000 retirees, but these are households commonly referred to as doorbells. Each of these retirees can have a family or a younger spouse or children who have care, and these are all stomach buttons, Dziczek explained. But Detroit`s three automakers have more than twice as many union retirees as active part-time workers – 332,131. From 2010 to 2018, FCA and its predecessor Chrysler increased from 64,910 retirees to 51,655; Ford went from 89,461 to 71.138; According to UAW data, GM increased from 271,745 to 209,338.