Valley man featured in Delphi bankruptcy filing

A Canfield Township man and his loss of $75,000 in Delphi stock are featured in a court document filed in the company’s bankruptcy case.

Mostly, the papers filed in federal bankruptcy court in New York are legal arguments that oppose a proposed financing plan for Delphi.

The International Union of Electrical Workers added the story of Lowell Seibert, however, to demonstrate the pain and losses that Delphi workers have endured.

Seibert, who had 15 years as a skilled trades worker for Delphi Packard Electric in Warren, was surprised to learn Wednesday that the union chose him to put a human face on the case.

“My situation is not good, but it’s not catastrophic. I’m a tradesman. I will be able to find something,” said Seibert, 57, whose last day at Delphi was Dec. 30.

The millwright was selected because he wrote to a congressional panel last year about his loss of money in Delphi stock.

The union noted that Delphi encouraged its employees to buy company stock through their retirement plans. Thousands of IUE workers bought the stock from 1999 — when it began trading at $17 a share — to 2005 — when Delphi filed for bankruptcy.

Seibert estimated that area workers lost millions of dollars.

After the bankruptcy filing, managers of the investment account sold the Delphi stock at 50 cents a share. Seibert bought his shares at between $8 and $17 a share.

Seibert had $80,000 of his retirement savings in Delphi stock and $20,000 in other investments. The part that was in Delphi stock was reduced to $5,000.

Seibert didn’t receive a buyout when he left Delphi but is receiving a General Motors pension of $750 a month and GM health-care coverage until he’s 65. He also receives a supplemental pension of $750 a month until he’s 62.

Looking back, he knows he had too much of his retirement investments in Delphi stock. “It was an old philosophy, I know. But I had faith in the company I worked for,” he said.

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