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Striking Coke Workers Sue Over Health Insurance Cancellation

If you can spell out the full name of the statute commonly abbreviated ERISA without falling asleep, you're probably an ERISA lawyer. You know, the one who has to sit through interminable conference calls on every mergers and acquisitions transaction your firm does, just so that four hours in someone can say, "Sound OK to you, Mary?"

Some striking Teamsters at Coca-Cola plants in Western Washington, though, have filed an ERISA suit in federal court in Seattle, claiming that Coke improperly canceled their health insurance coverage a day after their strike began. The strike itself arises out of allegations that Coke has been spying on its own workers and refusing to bargain in good faith.

The company says that cancellation of health care coverage was not retaliatory, but, rather, coverage was canceled because employees are not entitled to coverage if they refuse to work. Which, unless I'm mistaken, is sorta what a strike is about.

One striking worker complained that his wife, who had a kidney transplant two years ago, will be denied coverage for her anti-rejection medication unless the issue is resolved.

Posted by Eric Lipman on August 30, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)


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