Detroit Today: The Blue Cross Blue Shield strikes, explained

The strike by Blue Cross Blue Shield workers pre-dates the UAW strike of the Big Three automakers.

UAW workers picket Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on Oct. 2, 2023 in Detroit.

UAW workers picket Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on Oct. 2, 2023 in Detroit.

In mid-September, over 1,000 UAW members with Blue Cross Blue Shield went on strike. The workers mostly operate in claims and customer service roles. Higher wages, improved benefits and an end to the outsourcing of jobs are among the priorities identified by union leaders in negotiations with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Vice President Derrick Jackson and Joint Programs Liaison Andante Valentine of UAW Local 2500 joined Detroit Today to discuss why they are on strike.

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Derrick Jackson is vice president of UAW Local 2500. He believes Blue Cross Blue Shield has disrespected its workers.

“We know that as the UAW being the number one customer (to Blue Cross Blue Shield), it is a shame that this company would actually then attack, humiliate, micromanage, (and) disrespect the UAW members,” says Jackson.

Andante Valentine is the Joint Programs Liaison for UAW Local 2500. She says she is concerned about outsourcing.

“Outsourcing has almost tripled since we first agreed to…do that back sourcing of work based on our actual contract,” says Valentine.

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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.