Wal-Mart and Unions unite on health care | VailDaily.com

Wal-Mart and Unions unite on health care

Associated PressVail CO, Colorado

WASHINGTON (AP) — Executives from Wal-Mart and three other major U.S. employers on Wednesday joined hands with union leaders in setting a goal of providing “quality, affordable” health care for millions of workers by 2012.Joining Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO Lee Scott and Service Employees International Union leader Andrew Stern at a Washington press conference were top executives from Intel Corp., AT&T Inc. and Kelly Services Inc.The business and union leaders laid out four main goals, including universal health-care coverage for “every person in America” and raising “the value it (America) receives for every health-care dollar” spent.”Government alone won’t and can’t solve this crisis,” Scott said. “By following this campaign’s common sense principles, we believe America can have high quality, affordable and accessible health care by 2012.”Despite praise from SEIU and the Communications Workers of America, Paul Blank, the campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com, which is funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers, gave only tepid support for the plan in a prepared statement.”If Wal-Mart is truly serious,” Blank said, “we challenge the company to provide universal health care to all of its uninsured employees and their families today.” Blank’s union did not participate in Wednesday’s press conference.The business and union leaders, in forming a coalition dubbed “Better Health Care Together,” pledged to convene a national summit by the end of May to recruit other leaders from business, labor, government and non-profits.

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