Michael Mayo was "completely shocked when [he] got the letter yesterday from Tribune Company (corporate parent of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel) outlining the changes to our 2008 health plans."
“Tobacco use fee – Tribune employees who use tobacco products (or have covered dependents who do so), will pay a $100 per month fee (per family) in addition to their medical premium. Smoking cessation programs will be offered to assist those who use tobacco in leading a smoke-free lifestyle. The fee will be waived upon completion of the program.”And another thing: "... there’s no reward for not being a smoker. If the company imposed a surcharge on smokers and then gave a proportionate break to all the non-smokers I could maybe be a little more positive about the whole thing."
The concerns and questions you raise, Michael, are similar to those of Baltimore Sun employees who, unlike you, have the right to challenge the company's new — and arguably unfair — strategy for saving money by shifting more of the cost burden to the workers.
Will the top-tier executives and publishers will also be required to pay the additional fees? (end of post)