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Locked-Out Gas Workers Struggle for Medical Care

July 20, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

BOSTON, Mass.—David Monahan, a 34-year-old service tech for National Grid in Lowell, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his bladder in June—less than a week before the company locked out him and 1,250 other workers, in a bid to get them to accept cuts in health and pension benefits. He is scheduled for surgery early next month, but the company cut off the workers’ health insurance July 1, and the hospital’s computer is now “setting off all sorts of red flags that my insurance is no longer valid,” he told the Boston Globe. “They’re trying to pressure people into accepting the final offer,” said John Buonopane, president of United Steelworkers Local 12012, which represents about a third of the locked-out workers. National Grid reported in May that its profits for 2017-18 were up 24% from the previous year. Monahan said he looked at purchasing National Grid’s COBRA insurance plan for his family, but it would cost almost $2,500 a month. He’s also applied for Medicaid, but says he probably won’t qualify because his wife works as a freelance occupational therapist. “They made it personal when they came after my family’s health care,” he says. Read more

July 20, 2018

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