“Detroit autoworkers have long been stereotyped as hard-drinking, overweight smokers,” says the Detroit News. Soon, Ford workers will be able to make more money by giving up smoking and by losing weight. Booze has not been mentioned yet.
According to the report, Ford and the UAW are working on a wellness program that gives “financial incentives to factory employees who make healthy lifestyle choices.” Details are still murky, but the DetN thinks the program will be “similar to one already in place for Ford’s U.S. salaried employees. As part of that program, some health insurance plans reward employees with lower premiums if they make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and losing weight.”
Chrysler has a similar program for salaried employees, and says it is following the talks between Ford and the UAW closely.
GM has a voluntary program, which provides free on-site health screenings and health coaching.
Ford, GM and Chrysler spend about $5 an hour on health care for new hires and other second-tier hourly workers. For veteran factory workers the cost is about $8 an hour. By 2015, the average for all hourly workers could reach $11 an hour.