...US corporation that still offers retiree medical benefits...
Sorry, I was referring to medical benefits for active working employees. That's where I see it going. Granted this thread is about retirees.

...would have been a routine communication to those affected -- benefits gone.
And therein lies the problem. Rulings like this that have become a matter of the public record just take it one step closer to terminate benefits for everyone. The legal precedent I am concerned about is such decisions make it harder for the working employee to find recourse when the benefits are cut. So, your company declares bankruptcy, cuts the benefits, and then magically emerges from bankruptcy. The courts said it was OK to cut for retirees, next the courts say it's OK for active employees. Soon after that it becomes the "new normal" to not offer medical coverage at all because the courts said they didn't have to. Employers know the economy stinks and you just can't change jobs on a whim - so to an extent they have you by the b#$$s. Not that they didn't anyway, but such decisions just give them a little tighter grip.

And, no Sal, I didn't read the whole thread or your post #37, but I did just now. I don't feel that the employer/employee relationship is necessarily adversarial and that unions are the answer, although at times they serve their purpose. As benfits provided decline, union importance/usefulness will, of course, rise. I see the relationship with my employer as more cooperative. I take care of them, they take care of me, and that starts with the old hip pocket. But medical benefits run a real close second.

Since I am OT, I've said my piece. Kodak was a good place to work. It is a shame to see them come to this.