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AT&T Retirees Picket, Unhappy With Health Care Costs
By Craig Galbraith
April 17, 2014 - News

Retired AT&T employees aren't too happy with a rise in health-care premiums — unhappy enough for some of them to demonstrate with picket signs outside at least one office.

A number of them showed up outside the AT&T offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday, to protest what they say are rate hikes that have risen by as much as 300 percent.

"They gave this company decades of their life," said Kristi Veit, Communication Workers of America, in an interview with KIII-VT. "We ask that the company in return be as considerate to our retirees, and we ask that we can re-discuss this issue."

The CWA Retirees Association says that for some of the former workers, it's a matter of choosing between having expensive insurance or risking their health by going without.

AT&T responded by saying that it pays much more of its retirees' health care premiums than other companies do for theirs.

"We provide some of the best retiree health care coverage in America, and we continue to subsidize it at a rate that is greater than the vast majority of other companies," the carrier said in a prepared staement. "AT&T is proud to be one of only about 28-percent of large employers that currently offer retiree health care coverage ... Even with premium increases, we pay between 70- and 80-percent of the total cost for our non-management retirees' medical coverage at a time when many other companies pay far less, with most employers paying nothing at all." 

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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