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Xerox retirees facing loss of company medical benefits

Zack Seward/WXXI

Some Xerox retirees are about to lose health care benefits they had received from the company.

The change impacts Xerox retirees who have been members of Local 14A of Workers United.

Gary Bonadonna Jr. is manager of that union and he said his union sent out letters to more than 2,000 retirees who had previously worked for Xerox in Rochester after those former Xeroxers received a letter from the company in late December telling them their health benefits would be ending as of March 1.

Bonadonna said the union has been fighting to keep the benefits but he said the company refused to bargain on that issue.

He called the decision by Xerox to cut those health benefits for retirees, ‘appalling,’ saying that the benefits were “something that was negotiated, and (the employees) left, they retired from the company that they spent their entire careers at, with the commitment that this was in place for them for the rest of their life,” said Bonadonna. “And that’s taken away from them.”

Xerox issued this statement about the benefits over the weekend:

“Following a thorough review of our union retiree benefit plans, we made adjustments to align with current industry practices. These changes were communicated to our retirees in December and are being implemented to allow Xerox to remain competitive as we return the company to growth.”

Bonadonna said the union will explore legal and other options in an effort to keep the medical benefits.

“To come up with a solution and turn around by March 1, I guess it’s possible, but if not, we’re going to continue to fight it, even if it goes beyond that date, and do all we can to secure these benefits for the retirees that were promised us,” said Bonadonna.

A similar cut to retiree health benefits was implemented for non-union Xerox employees just over three years ago.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.