RETIREES, UNIONS SUE NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL TO PROTECT RETIREE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS
RETIREES, UNIONS SUE NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL
TO PROTECT RETIREE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS
DETROIT, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the UAW:
A coalition of unions and retired hourly and salaried workers sued Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) today to protect health care benefits which the corporation has threatened to take away from retirees, surviving spouses and their eligible dependents.
UAW Secretary-Treasurer Bill Casstevens said the suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio - Western Division, in Dayton. Casstevens, director of the UAW-Navistar Department, said the class-action suit seeks to protect the retiree health care benefits of approximately 63,000 persons, including approximately 40,000 retirees, surviving spouses and dependents covered by UAW-negotiated benefits from the Navistar Plan.
The suit was brought on behalf of all affected retirees, surviving spouses and dependents by the International Union, UAW; the United Plant Guard Workers of America (UPGWA); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); a number of local unions and lodges of the three unions; a number of individual retired hourly workers; and a number of individual retired salaried workers.
The coalition asked the federal court for a preliminary and a permanent injunction directing Navistar and the Plan "to continue to provide the lifetime health insurance benefits required by the Plan and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, and prohibiting them from terminating the program or decreasing the benefits provided to retirees of Navistar, their spouses, surviving spouses and eligible dependents."
The suit asks the court for "a judgment clarifying the future rights of the individual plaintiffs and the members of the class that they represent to receive lifetime health benefits as provided by the Plan immediately prior to Navistar's July 28, 1992, announcement of prospective changes in those benefits." It also seeks a judgment against Navistar and the Plan to cover all costs and expenses sustained by the affected retirees as a result of Navistar's refusal to provide the promised health insurance benefits.
Casstevens said: "Individuals who gave decades of dedicated and loyal service to the company have been forced by Navistar's harsh and unilateral actions to seek court protection of the retiree health benefits that they toiled for and were promised. The UAW and the other unions joining in this class-action suit are determined to support the retirees, their spouses, surviving spouses and covered dependents in retaining the essential health care protections to which they are entitled."
Included with the complaint filed with the court was a copy of a letter provided by Navistar to one of the individual plaintiff retirees. The letter, dated June 15, 1989, to UAW-represented hourly retiree Arthur D. Shy of Dearborn Heights, Mich., stated, "We are pleased to advise you that effective 7-1-89 you and your spouse are insured for lifetime medical coverage in conjunction with your retirement from the Company."
The largest of several UAW-Navistar local unions joining in the suit is Local 402, which represents nearly 4,600 production and maintenance workers at Navistar's plant in Springfield, Ohio. A companion UAW Local 658 represents nearly 400 clerical and technical workers at Springfield. Navistar also operates manufacturing facilities in Columbus, Ohio; Melrose Park, Ill.; Indianapolis; and Waukesha, Wis. The UAW represents a total of approximately 7,000 active workers at Navistar.
/CONTACT: Karl Mantyla of the UAW, 313-926-5291/
(NAV) CO: United Auto Workers; Navistar International Corp. ST: Michigan, Ohio, Illinois IN: AUT HEA INS SU:
JG-DC -- DE025 -- 2289 08/21/92 17:02 EDT