Delphi hearing today

By Grace Wyler



Delphi Corp. salaried retirees will continue the fight to restore their pensions in federal court today.

About 60 of the Mahoning Valley’s Delphi Salaried Retirees Association will join about 180 of their counterparts from across the country in Detroit for a preliminary hearing in their suit against the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

The lawsuit seeks to reverse the ruling of turning the Delphi salaried pension plan over to the PBGC. The case claims the agency improperly agreed to take over the salaried retirees’ pension plans during the federal government’s restructuring of General Motors last year, resulting in benefit cuts between 30 percent and 70 percent.

The suit claims the federal government pressured Delphi to terminate the pension plans to expedite the auto-industry bailout. GM agreed to “top off” the pension losses for hourly employees.

The primary issue at hand in today’s hearing is the retirees’ motion for a preliminary injunction, said Bruce Gump, chairman of the association’s Warren legislative group. A favorable ruling would require the PBGC to agree to pay the pension losses if the case is resolved in the retirees’ favor or put the money into escrow until the case is resolved, Gump said.

He said it is not likely the judge will rule today.

The court also will consider the PBGC’s motions for dismissal and summary judgment.

If the judge rules against dismissal, the retirees can ask to subpoena documents from the Treasury Department, the PBGC and GM as evidence that political considerations led to unfair treatment of Delphi’s 20,000 salaried workers and retirees.

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