It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
Big Lots Stores, Inc.
J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Providence Risk & Insurance Services, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Great American Insurance Company
Highway Transport Logistics
Daryl Flood Relocation & Logistics
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.