January 13, 2006

Workers Win with Fair Share Health Care

Washington DC — Workers gained a significant victory, yesterday, when Maryland legislators voted to override Governor Robert Erhlich’s veto of the state’s Fair Share Health Care Act.  Now, all large employers, including Wal-Mart, must pay a minimum amount for employee health care benefits as do other large employers in Maryland.

“Working families nationwide will take heart from the passage of Fair Share Health Care in Maryland,” said United Food and Commercial Workers International President Joe Hansen. “We have a national health care crisis in this country, but that doesn’t excuse large employers, like Wal-Mart, from shifting their health care costs onto taxpayers and responsible employers.”

With similar legislation as the Maryland act going forward in 30 more states, Hansen said: “UFCW members and their local unions will be actively involved in holding legislators accountable on these measures—and looking to petition their representatives in other states to introduce fair share legislation. Every time UFCW members negotiate health care benefits with their employers, they face demands for cut backs. It’s not fair to workers or responsible employers if large corporations, like Wal-Mart, game the system to get unfair business advantages.”