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Retirees mobilize



Published: Thu, July 30, 2009 @ 12:01 a.m.

By DON SHILLING

VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR

  Delphi Retirees

Current and former union officials who led the rally told the retirees there is still hope that they can retain their health care and full pensions.
Pressure has to be applied at the right place, however, and that is on the federal government, said Don Arbogast, former shop chairman of Local 717 of the International Union of Electrical Workers.

Current and former union officials who led the rally told the retirees there is still hope that they can retain their health care and full pensions. Pressure has to be applied at the right place, however, and that is on the federal government, said Don Arbogast, former shop chairman of Local 717 of the International Union of Electrical Workers.

WARREN — Cheryl Click and Marilyn Thomas usually aren’t ones to join causes, but the Delphi Packard Electric retirees are ready to jump into the fight to save their pensions and health care.

They and about 1,000 other retirees were pumped up at a rally Wednesday at the Warren Amphitheatre.

The women said they are ready to call politicians, join a mass protest or do whatever is needed. Both women are single and are concerned about losing their homes and living without health-care insurance.

“It’s depressing. Where am I going to live? A shelter?” said Thomas, 61, of Bazetta Township, who retired in 2006 after 38 years at Packard.

Click, 60, of Champion Township said her family tells her they can see the worry on her face.

“I don’t sleep at night, and this is the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning,” said Click, who retired in 2006 after 39 years.

Current and former union officials who led the rally told retirees there is still hope that they can retain their health care and full pensions.

Pressure has to be applied at the right place, however, and that is on the federal government, said Don Arbogast, former shop chairman of Local 717 of the International Union of Electrical Workers.

Arbogast said General Motors, the former parent of Delphi, tried to live up to its commitment to fund the health care for IUE retirees. It was going to place $1 billion into a trust fund for the retirees this past spring but was stopped by the U.S. Treasury Department, he said.

The federal government, which owns 60 percent of GM after its bankruptcy, does not want GM to pay anything to IUE retirees because GM no longer has any plants that are represented by that union, he said.

Arbogast urged the retirees to call local, state and federal politicians to ask for help in changing the mind of federal officials.

He also asked the retirees to call their doctors to enlist their support. If the health care is lost, the Mahoning Valley will have thousands of residents who suddenly become uninsured, he said.

Chuck Church, a former Local 717 union leader, urged retirees to sign up so they can be contacted for mass protests. They could be scheduled quickly anywhere in the country, he said.

Bob Sutton, an IUE staff representative, said the union and officials from the “old GM” have been negotiating on health care for the retirees for the past five days. The old GM is the entity that was left in bankruptcy court with the assets that GM no longer wants.

For now, health care remains in place, Sutton said.

“As long as we continue to talk, we continue to have health care, and I hope we talk for a long time,” he said.

As for pensions, Sutton said anyone who retired from Delphi before 2000 is considered a GM retiree and will have a full pension. Those who retired in 2000 or later are likely to have their pensions reduced by more than 50 percent if they are under 65, he said.

The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has started the process of taking over Delphi’s pension plan, which will take several months.

Arbogast said the key to preventing the pension takeover and the health-care cuts is finding allies who will pressure President Obama and federal officials.

“You don’t win a war by creating more enemies. You win a war by creating more friends,” he said.

Among the allies will be other unions, he said.

Jim Graham, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112 in Lordstown, spoke at the rally and promised his support.

shilling@vindy.com


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Obama did this too you and you continue to support him? How any union person would ever vote for Obama or his Democrooked friends like Brown and Ryan is beyond me. What have they done for you lately - nothing except lose your pension & healthcare benefits.

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2JackKi(2 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey brother/sister I am just sending this message to let you know I have built a web site for all UAW,IUE brothers/sisters. I can tell that you and I are like minded, and that we value a lot of the same things. Come check out our UAW message board and know that those who come there will be civil and share value the same things you and I do. As in these troubled times We need to Unite and share each other's views and information.

Here is a Link to our home page:

http://www.warriorsoflabor.com/index.php

Here is a Link to our registration page:

http://www.warriorsoflabor.com/index....

Just register, and send me a PM Bro/Sis,

Sincerely, Jac

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3timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

UAW &IUE, This isn't the first time that this happen to people. In the 20th century around the early 70's Mullins of Salem, Ohio took everyone pension and my Unlce only got $20.00 dollars a month with the rest of the employees getting the same amount. Now this wasn't Delpi or Lordstown so I guess it's not that important. What Bull that is. This has been going on since the depreesion. My Dad worked WPA during that time. Actually he worked for Old Man D'bartola and got $.50 on each Dollar that was owed to him. I'm sure your families have similar stories, but getting back to ones security while he or she is working the Private Sector. There is none! These Union Officals could careless about you ! Their only concern is positive money coming into the Fund and not negative numbers going out. Bottom line is they have lied to you brothers and sisters and are getting away with it since the begining of the 20th century !

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4blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Ha Ha! .... and this is a big suprise to you?!?!?!?! What can I say besides. . . . . I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!! Reap what you sow. I have no pity for you!

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5ufosd(17 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I am happy for the local 717 employees concerning their contract being honored by the new owners of the Delphi business, now let's hope the retirees can get a fair shake also.
I hope people will remember it was the treasury who is taking away the benefits of the retiree's not necessarily GM.

So the politicians who are to oversee the treasury and give them directives should be held accountable for the out come of this battle.

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6JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I, however, have a lot of pity for you, blkpride.

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7TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

The Delphi-Packard Electric ship left port 27 years ago for Chihuahua, Mexico and never returned. Anyone who says they didn't see it coming was a fool. $44,000.00 for a Cadillac CTS, gimme a break.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

For those who voted for Obama this is not about you. The priority is Obama and what he wants. Feel vindictive? Get even time is a little over three years away. Uncontrolled politicians are like unrefrigerated fish. Before too long they start to stink.

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9Visions(8 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Blaming the President for YEARS( the last 4 in particular) of dishonesty and pocket lining with the car industry is STUPID! He didn't create the mess and I applaud anyone who has the courage to want to fix it.
Where were all you loud mouths when the economy failed Y-town and Warren, Oh in 1974?
Do you recall the Steel Mills closing was that his fault too?

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Who is to blame? This says it all !

"Arbogast said General Motors, the former parent of Delphi, tried to live up to its commitment to fund the health care for IUE retirees. It was going to place $1 billion into a trust fund for the retirees this past spring but was stopped by the U.S. Treasury Department, he said."

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11cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I hope the retirees retain their pensions and health care but the current situation is the combined result if a deal made nine years ago, the bankruptcy of GM and the way bankruptcy laws are written. I personally don't see the connection to Obama. I do hope he or the government steps in and corrects this situation.

I do continue to find it bizarre to see people rejoice in seeing anyone lose something they worked for all their lives. Union, non union, city worker or what ever. The fact that the people losing those benefits feel that way about each other is the most bizarre.

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12borylie(790 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

When you cannot raise the poor,the uneducated, the lazy to middle class status,you bring the middle class down to their level. This way more people have to depend on government. This is socialism and you can blame whoever you want, but some of us seen it coming and it's coming.

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13cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

ProMerkin....Did I read post #9 correctly? Did you belong to the union?

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14VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

For over 35 years I have been paying into retirement plans, whether private or government and now every one of them feel they have the right to change the plan without my approval. Why were we duped into these plans? Because we were shown how it would improve our life in retirement and they can handle our money better than we can. But when it comes time to payout, the story changes.
Meanwhile, all these officials played with our money and now what do we have to show for it? My retirement plan looks far bleaker today than it did 10 years ago and my wife and I will have to continue working to make up the differences.

The lesson in this story is, you cannot trust anyone but yourself, despite what the government and others tell you. Especially the government!

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15cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

ProMerkin....You are the ultimate low life piece of s**t. You belonged to unions and reap the benefits of generations of sacrifice and then demean others that belong. When your unions bargained for improvements did you protest those gains by writing a check to the company you worked for to return those gains? I thought not. What an unbelievable hypocrite. Pure scum.

Hope...I going to have to disagree with your comment that ProMerkin hates everything but himself. It's my guess that he hates himself and his life most of all. What else could be the reason for this degree of mental illness?

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16ufosd(17 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I am so happy that I have had the privilege of working in this valley for some 40 years in UNION shops, they have not been perfect but have made it possible to have given my family and my friends families a GREAT life style to enjoy, say what you will about Unions those of us who have enjoyed the safe, clean and prosperous work environments have NO regrets. If that bugs you,,,,,"great",,, you have made my day, I am still able to rejoice even in this temporary crisis, UNION BROTHERS AND SISTERS STAND TALL AND BE PROUD, we and our children have had a good life and we will survive.

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17cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

ProMerkin....You claim it was obligatory to belong to the unions you a member of? What a crock. What, you were really looking for a nonunion job and the labor thugs rounded you up and put a gun to your head? No one forced you to work for a employer that uses union labor. Why didn't you choose to work somewhere that was nonunion? Let me answer that for you. My guess is that you wanted to get paid a living wage with health benefits and an opportunity to retire with some dignity. Then you look down your nose at others that work for the same. Your a self righteous pr**k.

I can make a pretty good guess of what your plan for the future was. I'm guessing inheritance. You probable lived in your mothers basement all your life and now it's yours.

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18redvert(2064 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Arbogast said "General Motors, the former parent of Delphi, tried to live up to its commitment to fund the health care for IUE retirees. It was going to place $1 billion into a trust fund for the retirees this past spring but was stopped by the U.S. Treasury Department," he said.

Whoever pulls the strings at Government Motors made the decision to dump the healthcare for these people. If you cannot figure out who has given them selves the power to fire CEO's etc. then there is no sense in trying to discuss this. It is that simple!

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19reinventthis(10 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Facebook: Re Inventthis
Twitter: ReinventThis
Blog: Re: invent this!

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20cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I don;t think anyone made a decision to dump anyone's health care. Bankruptcy laws being what they are free a company from their obligations. The law is what it is. I believe this would be the reason for the Treasury Department to take that stance but I could be wrong.

That being said, I hate to see anyone lose what they worked for all their lives and I hope that the government could find some way to help these people and if they do I hope others don't call it socialism.

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21DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

"WOW POR ARE YOU FULL OF HATE"

Didn't I read you calling for the EXECUTION of the former president and his vice-president on another thread? No hate there though, right?

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22redvert(2064 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

This was not a normal bankruptcy. When the government is making all the decisions in a bankruptcy as it did with GM it changes the rules as it goes. We now have a CZAR running GM.

Come on now, this ain't rocket science.!!

While I am not a fan of the union concept, I do not think these retirees should be ripped off!

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23Rocco(99 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Health Care and a Pension at retirement??? What pray tell is that????? Must be nice!!!

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24ManOfSteel(16 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

"given a fair choice, the majority of American workers don't want to be unionized, only loser employees, illegals, Mafia thugs and leftos are pro union."

What poll or study backs you up? You would tell me that the majority of Americas would not join a union if the alternatives were far worse? What exactly is a "loser employee"? Anti-union fanatics such as yourself and Jim DeMint rely on caricatures and stereotypes to make your points, even when it's clear they are delusional; there's a reason that some liberals are "rich and spoiled"; it's because they're better informed and educated and do not stoop to your level. Finally, who said that Hope... cannot be pro-union just because Hope never belonged to one. I myself worked to pay my way through college (no subsidies from my parents, and I'm proud that they taught me this lesson of self-reliance), as an employee of a non-union mason's crew. I saw no need to join a union given the circumstances, and the beneficence of my boss. However, for lifelong employees of a single company, or for those who work in less than ideal situations (workplace safety, compensation, pensions, etc.), unions are the ideal way to organize. Caricaturizing all union members and former servicemen and servicewomen, as you did not-so-subtly, is a slap in the face of every American who simply desires his or her piece of the American dream.

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25cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

ManOSteel....The ironic thing is the clown that made the comments you quoted at the beginning of your posts worked as a member of unions. Can you believe this guy took advantage of every sacrifice generations before him made and now bad mouths unions.

He didn't choose to work for a non union employer, he didn't return anything to the employer he didn't think he deserved and he certainly never spoke those words face to face with any fellow union member he worked with.

It just shows how twisted some people are.

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