Brian Harvey’s employer took away his health insurance just in time for his son’s cancer diagnosis.
“Beginning of June my wife found a lump in my son’s stomach when she was just playing with him,” he explained. “We went in to see his pediatrician and next thing you know they just told us to go to the emergency room.”
Harvey’s son had his kidney removed shortly after, but he got a phone call after the surgery saying the child had stage three cancer that had traveled to his lymph nodes. A week later, he got a letter in the mail saying that his insurance was being terminated.
Energy giant National Grid, where Harvey works, recently locked out 1,250 gas line workers in Massachusetts, and ended their health care on the same day, to put pressure on workers during union contract negotiations. They also reported $3.66 billion in profits in May — a 24% jump. The company is hoping to cut wages and health benefits in the new contract.
“At the times like, this, you think, you know, you’re basically just a number to them,” said Harvey. “What I’d say to National Grid is how greedy can you be? And is it worth it to you like, the more money you put in your pocket, is it really worth it to hurt all these people?”