Navistar Wants To Retire Health Costs

Heavy-duty truck manufacturer Navistar, claiming its long-term survival is at stake, asked a federal court on July 28 for permission to cut health care benefits for 63,000 retirees and dependents. The company, which has three retirees for every active worker, last year paid $126 million for retiree health care. Navistar says its retiree health benefits currently put it at a $200 million cost disadvantage to its rivals. The new plan, which forces former employees to pay for part of their care, would slash costs by 71%, or $90 million.

But the plan may not go over smoothly. Navistar's retirees are covered by the United Auto Workers and other unions, which are likely to oppose efforts to transfer costs to their members.

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