Victory: Chicago UPSers Stop Retiree Healthcare Hike

April 10, 2009: On April 9, a federal judge ordered UPS to reverse increases in retirees' healthcare payments in Chicago.

“It’s great to win for retirees, because many of them couldn’t afford this increase. They’re calling me, all excited that we won. Thank God we have a local that works for the members and retirees that would fight this battle.”
Iggy Green
Local 705 Retiree

In January, UPS raised the cost of healthcare for Local 705 retirees to $315 a month for a married couple. Many companies and health plans have hiked retiree healthcare costs, often with no objection from the union. But Chicago Local 705 took action.

With Local 705’s support, retirees went to federal court. Yesterday, they won an injunction that prevents UPS raising the health care premium above $50 per month.

Retiree Iggy Green, who was a plaintiff in the case, told us that “It’s great to win for retirees, because many of them couldn’t afford this increase. They’re calling me, all excited that we won. Thank God we have a local that works for the members and retirees that would fight this battle.”

In briefs filed in the case, UPS management argued they could charge Local 705 retirees more than retirees under the national contract, because the national union had given them concessions in bargaining, including giving up the Central States Pension Plan. Local 705 has a separate contract from the national contract.

UPS will now have to refund the retirees for the overpayments during the past three months, and lower the cost to $50 per month going forward.

We do not know if UPS will appeal the decision, which was issued by federal district judge Matthew F. Kennelly.

Click here for a copy of the decision.

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