Are the Koch Brothers Trying to Privatize VA Health Care?

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Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday at 8:45 and 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

American Federation of Government Employees President David Cox says an effort is underway to try to privatize the Veteran’s Administration health care system.

Cox says the privatization threat comes from a VA Commission appointed by Congress that included a fake Koch brothers affiliated veterans group.

“One of the appointments was a Koch brothers fake veterans’ organization—Concerned Veterans of America. We’re very, very concerned. There’s a lot of private health care individuals, things of that nature on this. And it’s about how do you privatize the VA? The best health care system in this country, how do you basically destroy it,” Cox says.

Cox says if Congress properly funded and staffed the VA the long waiting lines and other problems veterans are experiencing would be resolved.

“There’s long lines because the health care is so good veterans want to be in. Congress has not appropriately funded the VA. That has created a lot of the problem. The VA currently has almost 40,000 vacant positions. Can you imagine if they filled all those positions? We would see the lines diminish and we would see veterans get the health care that they deserve.”

Detroit Chassis Workers Threaten Strike, Employer Agrees to Their Demand To Join UAW

Temp workers who threatened to walk off their jobs at the Detroit Chassis auto parts plant in Avon , Ohio, called off the strike after the employer agreed to their demand to join the UAW.

Some of the workers are paid as little as $9.50 an hour. The UAW says the workers were fed up with low pay, no benefits and permanent “temp” status.

The UAW says a walkout by these workers would have stopped production within a day at Ford’s Ohio Assembly plant. The plant builds F-650 and F-750 trucks.

Detroit Chassis started operations last year about a mile from the Ford plant and haven’t hired a single permanent worker. Auto parts workers at other plants are also trying to organize with the UAW. The union says the Detroit Chassis workers should be an inspiration for workers everywhere.

Hundreds of Faculty Strike at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Campus

Hundreds of non-tenure track faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus walked off their jobs for a two-day strike Tuesday.

Shawn Gilmore is president of their faculty union, affiliated with the AFT. Gilmore says the faculty who walked out for the two-day strike want the stability of multi-year contracts.

“The main things that we’re striking over today are issues of stability and professionalism. We need multi-year contracts for these individual employees. We’d also like to see clear promotion pathways as well as a general improvement in the shared governance of the institution,” Gilmore says.