"The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced new policy measures for the reimbursement of contractor pension and medical benefit plan costs that are based on sound business practices and market-based benchmarks for cost management."Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said the new policy for reimbursing contractors was aimed at following "market trends.” You don't have to be an airline employee to know what that means. The latest trends have been very unkind to employee pensions and health insurance plans.
But, instead of setting an example, the Bush administration is going to encourage this race to the bottom. Companies that actually treat their workers well will be shortchanged by DOE. This DOE announcement will tilt the playing field in favor of companies that provide meager pension and/or health benefits.