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Walmart, Lowe's...Others Bankrolling a Nationwide Campaign to Gut Workers' Comp

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posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 04:17 AM

America's biggest employers want to pick and choose the benefits they give their injured workers.

Full article well worth a read, at link above.

First they came for your unions. Then they came for your pensions. Then they shipped your jobs overseas.

Then for those they couldn't ship overseas, they cut hours, kept wages unlivably low, and cut benefits, or made you work longer and harder for less money.

Now if you get hurt for them they want to control and, don't kid yourself, eventually cut that liability too.

Nearly two dozen major corporations, including Walmart, Nordstrom, and Safeway, are bankrolling a quiet, multistate lobbying effort to make it harder for workers hurt on the job to access lost wages and medical care—the benefits collectively known as workers' compensation.

The companies have financed a lobbying group, the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers' Compensation (ARAWC), that has already helped write legislation in one state, Tennessee. Richard Evans, the group's executive director, told an insurance journal in November that the corporations ultimately want to change workers' comp laws in all 50 states. Lowe's, Macy's, Kohl's, Sysco Food Services, and several insurance companies are also part of the year-old effort.

When and where is this going to end? Bastards.

Businesses can save millions of dollars by opting out and writing plans with narrow benefits, putting pressure on their competitors to do the same. "It creates a race to the bottom," says Michael Clingman, a workers' advocate in Oklahoma, which passed an opt-out measure in January 2014. The state's oil and gas industry, along with major retailers, such as the craft store chain Hobby Lobby, pushed hard for the change—with help from a lobbyist, Steve Edwards, who now heads ARAWC's legislative strategy. Dillard's, a department store chain with 10 locations in Oklahoma, took advantage of the change by requiring workers to report injuries before the end of their shift to be eligible for workers' comp. Walmart and Dillard's declined to comment for this article.

American workers, you are really all alone. And SOL.

ARAWC acknowledges that its goal is to slash health care spending. The group's Tennessee proposal, it boasts in a fact sheet, would "lower costs to employers" and allow businesses to "require more accountability from injured workers" by choosing their doctors and forcing them to stick to the company doctor's treatment plan to retain their benefits.

Really? And of course, some of you will support this...because you're either part of the .01% or think you one day will be or because any cut to big "gubment" is a good thing.

And if the current system is old and broken, we the people and not the lobbyists doing the government's work for them, should fix it.

Here's how ARAWC touts itself:

What’s ARAWC?

ARAWC is the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation. Our reform-minded group focuses on ensuring that employees receive the best possible care and employers have the choice to provide what is best for their employees. We call it an “Option.” [Source]

Current states are Texas and Oklahoma. Next target state is Tennessee.

Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Work Comp ‘Option’ Legislation

Tennessee may soon have its own answer to an alternative workers’ compensation insurance option through new legislation by Republican lawmakers known as the Tennessee Employee Injury Benefit Alternative.

Tennessee State Senator Mark Green and State Representative Jeremy Durham introduced Senate Bill 721 and House Bill 0997, respectively, last month. The legislation seeks to amend Tennessee’s current workers’ compensation requirements through a “free-market alternative to traditional workers’ compensation insurance offerings in the state,” according to the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation (ARAWC), which worked on the development of the bill with the lawmakers.

The not-for-profit group advocates in state legislatures for free market alternatives to workers’ compensation and is made up of companies like Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Wal-Mart, as well as insurers such as AmWINS and Great American.

Brent Buchanan, communications director of ARAWC, says the Tennessee Option, as it is being called, will create competition and give employers the ability to save money by creating a workers’ comp plan that is appropriate for their business.

And more coming soon: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama. Coming for you.

And here's the list of who I won't be giving my money to (if I even still do).

Founding/Full Members
Big Lots Stores, Inc.
Combined Group
Dillard’s, Inc.
J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Nordstrom, Inc.
Providence Risk & Insurance Services, Inc.
Safeway, Inc.
Sedgwick, Inc.
Sysco Corporation
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Sponsoring Members
Great American Insurance Company
Whole Foods
Associate Members
Brinker International
Highway Transport Logistics

Friend Members
Daryl Flood Relocation & Logistics


To be fair, or attempt to be, lets all try to see it from a "good outcomes" point of view. But beware the language of who the good outcome is really for.

Calling the 'Option': Exploring alternatives to workers' comp

They call it an "option." I call it total BS. It's all about saving the big corps and insurers money. Mitigate and minimize their risk...not yours. Full stop. So bend over some more, Americans!
edit on 3/27/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

+9 more 
posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 04:32 AM
Employee falls at work and is knocked unconscious, waking up in the hospital.
Company informs them they do not qualify for benefits due to failure to notify supervisor before end of shift.
Soon to be true story.

Lobbyists who pass measure retires comfortably in the Caimans.
Injured worker now divorced, homeless and suicidal.
mission accomplished.
If this is the American way I'm no American.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 04:56 AM
land of the enslaved, home of the brainwashed.
you know from outside the box the "beacon of democroacy to the world" is really starting to look more and more like one of those double amber flashing warning lights right before a no entry on a highway exit, i mean is there really any difference now between say china and the USA in workers rights,entitlements, pay etc.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 05:05 AM
a reply to: PLAYERONE01
Even the Chinese and Indian workers are unionizing, and being "allowed to" for now.

But once their wages, benefits, and protections are "fair" and start costing these greedy corporations and the greedier corrupt pols who support them more, they will move their business elsewhere, maybe even back to countries like the U.S. and U.K., where wages, benefits, protection will by then be at rock bottom.

edit on 3/27/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 05:33 AM
That's what happens when people allow unions to grow weaker. The "War on Unions" run by the Republicans and their major funders (I call them "the Kochs") undercuts everyone, union member or not. Going after workmen's comp? Thieves an crooks, picking your pocket from the right and the left. Wanting to further disembowel their workers - the people who make them what they are - reveals mindsets which, while corporate in nature, probably contain some form of mental illness and a pathological lack of empathy.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 05:47 AM
Corrupt government is at fault, it is allowing corporate business to fleece citizens to their bones and squeeze the squeaks out of them.

They can only go as far as gov allows them to.

There isn't really much else to say.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 05:55 AM
As much as I hate unions, it is crap like this that reminds me why they are a necessary evil in the first place.I also look, and see which states have so far embraced the dark ages labor model, and am not surprised. Two states that have repeatedly shown a lack of respect for human dignity, life, and freedom. I honestly hope that this rot remains in those states, and does not spread.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 06:16 AM
a reply to: Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

And most of us just sit back and watch the progression of the systematic destruction of the working class and are powerless somehow. Honestly, until there is some unity instead of this constant diviseness propagated by these very people, we are screwed. Sad.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:31 AM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

Unions still exist everywhere, it's just that in many states, now, they can't force you to give them your money. There's nothing wrong with this.

While your post is well put together, there's just way too much emotional hyperbole for me to take it as informational. I'll have to wait until I find other sources (other than "Mother Jones"...not exactly unbiased in the least) that discuss this without an ideological slant, but I will say that some of the assumptions quoted and stated by you are based on absolute hyperbole.

Big question: Remember a few years back when healthcare--especially for corporations--was quite a bit more affordable. What happened between then and now?

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:49 AM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

I don't think this will be a success since workers' comp is such a fundamental part of the labor system - altering it like these corporations want to do is no small feat - obviously with the financial might these people have they can sway the system but with something like this I'm doubtful.

Although nothing would surprise me at this point... I really hope this campaign doesn't pick up too much momentum and gets shut down early. I can just imagine the thousands or tens of thousands of cases of workplace accidents that would leave families hanging out to dry if this is allowed

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:55 AM
I in no way want to see Work Comp tore completely down, that is not fair. However, the abuse of Work Comp is really getting out of control. I have worked in HR forever and have witness one employee after the other abuse or flat out falsify injuries in an attempt to personally benefit. The Work Comp court in my state has not made things better as they almost always side with an employee. I cannot sit here and 100% defend an employer, there are significant issues on both sides. They system needs to be reviewed and perhaps this move by the major employers will force a change that will benefit both sides and bring some needed changes.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:59 AM
True story. I worked as a CNA for Sun Health Corp. for 7 years. After five years of raises of .05/per hour (in the late 90's) we had enough. We tried to organize a union but we could not get the Mexicans to organize. In the south or wherever there is agriculture, you can't organize a union. Then you have the republican legislators trying to destroy what is left of the unions.

You can't blame the beast for its nature. I blame the people who vote for the destroyers.

We are In a war with Iran and allied with Iran at the same time. With people making policies like that, you kids expect prosperity for the future? Get use to strife then you die.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:05 AM
I had a guy try to collect workmans comp on me a few years ago. He didn't bother to tell me that he totaled his car over the weekend and messed up his back.
I don't have any problem taking care of my people but don't try to screw me.
I will be interested to see what types of changes they are lobbying for.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:09 AM
This seems awful, but I am a little concerned about the source. Mother Jones is prone to lay down the hyperbole. I read the entire article and it seemed a bit thick there too. The article constantly mentioned Wal-mart (basically the face of evil retail corporations). This was clearly meant to emotionally tug you, "Walmart is involved! Screw this!"

Though I will say this, you can rest easy in knowing that this organization's goal of setting up this legislation in all states is a ludicrous pipe dream. Notice that the list of states they are currently targeting are southern red states? That list will never include any coastal blue states though.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:14 AM
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Just because Michael Moore worked there (and sued them after he got fired) doesn't mean they have a political slant.......bbwwwaahahaha!

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:35 AM
These particular Heirs (who did NOTHING to earn their wealth)
would zombify their employees if they could to eliminate sick days.

What's the figure, the 5 Walmart heirs are richer than
140 million Americans combined ? Now that's redistribution
of wealth.

What makes me sick is thinking about those who
work hard for these baby softs, believing this is fair
and just the way it is.

Maybe instead of paying lobbyists
millions to fight those evil workers unions we hear destroy Merica'
they could just pay their GD people a living wage ?
edit on 27-3-2015 by UnderKingsPeak because: link

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:41 AM
a reply to: SlapMonkey
a reply to: Krazysh0t

My post contains sources other than Mother Jones. The ARAWC's own website for one. And the Property and Casualty Insurance Resource one for another.

In addition, an article about the lobbying efforts in Tennessee. Other than that I think I've done enough for you.
edit on 3/27/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:41 AM
I know a friend that retired from GM and has disability on top of his retirement asn was never hurt just spent 3 years fighting and they gave up. So he gets nearly $5k a month forever.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:48 AM

originally posted by: ~Lucidity
a reply to: PLAYERONE01
Even the Chinese and Indian workers are unionizing, and being "allowed to" for now.

But once their wages, benefits, and protections are "fair" and start costing these greedy corporations and the greedier corrupt pols who support them more, they will move their business elsewhere, maybe even back to countries like the U.S. and U.K., where wages, benefits, protection will by then be at rock bottom.

Like I have said before, the scariest doom porn I heard was the Mike Rowe Walmart commercial about spending 250 BILLION dollars in the next 10 years to bring back jobs to the US.

Walmart is not in the business of doing nice things, they are in the business of profit and are extremely good at it. The only way they could justify bringing jobs back to the US if they know that our quality of life is about to change and be comparable to China. We would have to be able to compete with the cheap slave desperate labor force from China for them to do such a thing. Then add easing immigration policies in the future and we become China.

edit on 48331America/ChicagoFri, 27 Mar 2015 08:48:53 -0500000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:53 AM
a reply to: interupt42

Walmart always seems to be at the forefront of this kind of thing too. Wonder why that is?

Pretty soon they'll be expecting people to pay them to work there. Now there's a business model for the past for you. Company store anyone?

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