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‘It is inhumane’ || VIDEO



Published: Wed, July 14, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

CANFIELD

  Delphi Hearings

The House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, chaired by Dennis Moore (KS-3), will hold a field hearing entitled “After the Financial Crisis: Ongoing Challenges Facing Delphi Retirees”.

The House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, chaired by Dennis Moore (KS-3), will hold a field hearing entitled “After the Financial Crisis: Ongoing Challenges Facing Delphi Retirees”.

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The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

Stephen and Dianna Ferro of Warren listen to testimony given Tuesday at a field hearing at Canfield High School about cuts made to Delphi salaried retireesÕ pension benefits..

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The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

Fighting back tears at times, Mary Ann Hudzik of Warren, a Delphi Corp. salaried retiree, tells a congressional subcommittee in Canfield about the impact of losing her health-care benefits and 41 percent of her company pension. .

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Mary Ann Hudzik of Warren spent more than 30 years working for General Motors and the Delphi Corp.

When she left in 2008, she had Delphi’s assurance that she’d have her full pension and health-care coverage for life, Hudzik said.

But that was short-lived.

Along with 20,000 other Delphi salaried retirees last year, Hudzik lost her health-care coverage and saw her monthly pension drop 41 percent — from $3,050 to $1,800.

Hudzik was among three Delphi salaried retirees to testify Tuesday at a U.S. House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee field hearing at Canfield High School.

“My dedication and years of loyal service to both GM and Delphi were irrelevant to those companies,” Hudzik said. “But worse, I’m irrelevant to our government [that] agreed that I had no commercial value and therefore was not entitled to my full pension.”

The salaried retirees’ pensions were cut by 30 percent to 70 percent when the Delphi retirement obligation was turned over to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. during the government’s restructuring of General Motors last year. Delphi had been a part of GM until it was spun off in 1999 as an independent company.

GM agreed last year to cover the pension losses of most of Delphi’s hourly workers, but no provisions were made for salaried employees.

Fighting back the tears at times, Hudzik said her husband is self-employed, and because of chronic pain, he can’t sleep and at times can’t work. No work means no income, she said.

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to rip away pensions when people are least able to replace the income,” Hudzik said. “We did nothing to deserve to be robbed of our dreams, our hopes, our plans for a secure future and to be sent into a downward spiral of existence.”

On the four-member congressional panel were U.S. Reps. Charlie Wilson of St. Clairsville, D-6th, and Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th.

Wilson, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, was instrumental in getting the field hearing in Canfield.

“Promises made to some Delphi retirees were broken entirely while benefits promised to others were reduced,” Wilson said. “Having those promises broken is just unacceptable.”

Ryan said he is “extremely disappointed by the Obama administration’s decision to not provide assistance” to the Delphi retirees. The congressman has asked President Barack Obama at least three times about helping the former Delphi workers.

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate who testified for the retirees, also said he was “disappointed and frustrated” with the Obama administration over this issue.

“At its core, this is an issue of fairness,” he said. “We owe it to the men and women who played by the rules and worked hard to get the retirement they have earned.”

Also on Tuesday’s panel were Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Moore, a Democrat from Lenexa, Kan.; and U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, a Republican from Clarence, N.Y., a Buffalo suburb. Delphi has reduced its presence in that part of New York in recent years.

Bruce Gump, a Delphi and GM retiree who worked for the companies for 33 years, also testified Tuesday. He is the director of Delphi Salaried Retiree Association’s Warren Legislative Council.

He said the companies and the federal government treated the retirees like “a commodity to be thrown out like yesterday’s trash.”

The value of Tuesday’s hearing depends on what happens next, Gump said.

“If they put it into the [Congressional] Record, it will be a waste of time,” he said. “If they can bring [the various parties] together, it will be a success. The treasury is ignoring us. Congress is more difficult to ignore.”

Gump wants the House committee to help facilitate discussions among the treasury, the federal auto task force, the PBGC and the retiree association to reinstate full pension benefits for those who lost them.


Comments

1rdl50(22 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I have posted on this subject once before. When one takes a salary position there is no one to back you up. The union employees have a union who will fight there case. You have no argument move on be lucky you are getting a pension. This is for the lady with 30years who went from over 3,000 a month to 1800 a month. A steelworker with a good paying job would never see 3000 a month so count your blessings quit crying you were robbed be happy with what you are getting.

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2timOthy(802 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Like (rdl50) I have commented on this before too! Look your Management and had a chance to be Organized and didn't want to pay dues. Now you wish you had. Too bad management! What about hourly Employees at Mullins in Salem,Ohio that work thirty years and got 1 dollar for every year worked. Which for my family it was $30.00 dollars. Now was that fare? Now you can organize to complain about your pension,but your not entitled as the decision has been made. I'm a Carpenter and we have secretaries that do clerical work for us in our 27 counties jurisdiction. Do you know they are all Union? What was your problem then? Not now ! Guess you want the tax payer to pay for your stupid decision. I say no ! And Lordstown I wouldn't have bailed you out either. You'd be taking a cut in pension too!

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3Silence_Dogood(1383 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Prevailing Democrat(union) attitude, F- you I got mine.
An implied agreement between a company and its workers is the same regardless of the fact that one member paid union dues and another did not.
This is akin to the Government deciding to give cost of living raises to all members that collect social security but only IF they were members of a union.
Pure BS and every one knows it.

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4TonyL(44 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

This would never happened if the UAW would had delayed payments from GM to UAW pension fund. If the UAW had managed the pension fund more responsibly, there would have been no need for GM to file bankruptcy.

GM’s pension plan was invested in GM’s own stock. Brilliant.

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5walter_sobchak(1977 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

The UAW and their union workers were bailed out by the Obama administration as a pay-back for their support in 2008 election. But, the salaried people have to bend over and grab their ankles. When BHO is finished, they can wipe their a$$es with the worthles GM stock that they are holding. These people had an agreement but one side is not living up to their end of the bargain, unless you were unionized. This is a Management/Union issue and the federal govt has made it, plain and simple. I won't buy GM again, I'm buying a Ford!

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6Silence_Dogood(1383 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

" I won't buy GM again, I'm buying a Ford!"

I agree with you Walter 100%.

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7iBuck(226 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

To me, the big issue is that the government is supposed to uphold contracts people make, not to abrogate them in such a way that some benefit and others are harmed.

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8crl(18 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Well said sotired, FairandEqual and iBuck. This is pure bs. The salaried workers earned these pensions and GM and Delphi should have to live up to their obligations regardless of union or nonunion status of individual retirees. I'm with you Walter and Silence, no more GM products for me.

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9oldstown(211 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

The only thing inhumane is that UNIONS were able to EXTORT these huge pensions out of Delphi in the first place.

Save your own damn retirement money and quit expecting huge handouts!

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10Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I understand the anger and frustration,..

But I also understand more than just that. See where not to say these people shouldn't be livid for being affected in such a manner. Where they presumed their lucrative pensions and benefits were secure by previous agreement.

However, the ugly reality of it all is in the private sector nothings ever been guaranteed. Due to ongoing success of business employers the agreements were able to be kept.

However, even then there were instances where certain workers had to fight to get what was affordable and agreed upon for them to recieve.

See just like the steel workers in the 70', 80's and still today. Right along with the airline workers found out in the Regan years and it's had instances time and time again.

Where in this case the saving grace is at least these people are getting something salvaged from a sector where nobody's immune.

The focal point here is via exceptionally poor business decisions by GM to had went gas guzzlers crazy with mass marketing the Hummer, an array of SUV's and big truck crazy.

As a result GM was on the brink of folding and had they not been saved by the federal government these people would only be getting Social security.

The government stepped in and salvaged more than that for them and not to be insensitive but these retirees better be glad for what was salvaged by government intervention.

So they need to take a step back and realize that had the government let that " Private enterprise " fold like their business failure had produced.

Instead of rage about the extremely unfortunate decrease in pension they'd been devastated by getting NOTHING aside from the government protections of Social security pension and Medicare.

Now just to keep things in perspective it's without question for the government to have interceded. In such a way to have bailed the various industries out was the right thing to do and I supported it.

But these retirees and workers better realize and respect that it wasn't an government obligation nor in anyway required by any law to do.

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11Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

PART II

Lastly in a defined and distinct definition. This was brought on as a result of a combination of the aforementioned terrible GM decisions.

Along with a republican tax cut for the extremely wealthy, reward for jobs and services out sourcing, mass deregulation bank fraud and mass mortgage manipulations.

That produced a deliberate record deficit producing outing CIA agents as retaliation. Just for trying to avert deliberate lies that launched a phony war to kill Saddam and funnel taxpayers dollars.

To be dolled out to an array of corrupt contractors at public expense. Solely for private profit through back pocket Halliburton and big Oil deals mass fleece campaign.

What's been and being salvaged from that preiminant collapse. Is from a democratic presidential administration with supportive house, senate. That's performing cleanup and rescue with no republican legislative help.

That's the facts and it shows a stark contrast between who's values, understanding and protective and people defense governance has to be compared.

Where some are caught up in how they were affected by Delphi here. However, in mass as a entire populous we were all took off and thank goodness some workers and retirees escaped from what was previously in store for them.

So now just remember who showed what role their values hurt or helped make such an impact on you.

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12Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

@walter_slobshack

You recalcitrant revisionist,..

See I'm glad you tried your fiendish foolishness here Slobshack. Where you're trying to sell victims of a mass fleecing a lie they better see through.

See I'm quiet certain that nobody but idiots dare try to give credence to a damn thing you so abominably allege.

You're nothing less than a bias ply liar that's now being caught here trying vindicate the indefensible assailants that set these people up for ruins as collateral damage.

See people better note how you so deceptively tried to defend. To do due diligence pertaining to who and what administration crafted 8 years dishonor, deception and deregulation to bring such a collapse to be.

Of course that's before you leap into your baseless conspiratorial routine of alleging the administration and party majority that salvaged was was by design to be left with nothing.

Go ahead Wally,.. come on take a little more time out from buying your under aged children. Party favorites in the form of his and her personal 40 oz's, keggers, six packs, bottles of Jack Daniels and complete with packs of smokes.

Just like yours as their smeared old Dad there Wally the witless. As means of displaying your idea of " responsible " parenting?

Which is your deceleration for how deregulation works. As demanding your right to exercise your values by producing drunkards and invoking such lawlessness upon your very own kids,.. you fraud frenzied fugitive.

I'm not lying on you either you cunning cretin,.. http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/jun/29...

So do us a favor by trying to convince these statistical victims. Just how diligent, loyal, resolute, forthright and prosperously beneficial. That your republican brand helped and worked for them,.. you worthless worm.

Don't keep us waiting Wally, as time is of the essence. See because as we speak your brand is campaigning for us to pay for BP's infringement on our environment.

Oh the values and humility to make taxpayers pay for private profiteers liabilities,.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDwUC3...

That's along with there's unemployment assistance being held up as a retaliation move. That's aside from these retirees pensions and benefits have been fleeced.

So by all means make your case because there are some quiet important impact midterm elections to be pondered. Where as voters we need to determine who to support in regards to candidates and personal worth and party values.

Make our day Wally and allow me to eviscerate you here before some more of your brands victims.

Try it Wally and let's confirm if you're wonderful or as witless and worthless as I've historically stated you are,.. I DARE YOU !!!

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13Silence_Dogood(1383 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Nunya

Step away from the CRACK PIPE.

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