2 reps request hearing on handling of pensions


By Kristen Russo

krusso@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A southwestern Ohio congressman is requesting a hearing from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Delphi salaried-employee pension losses.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton, R-3rd, and U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., sent a letter Thursday to Darrell Issa, committee chairman.

The letter asks that the committee have hearings on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s handling of Delphi pensions.

In the letter, the congressmen said PBGC made decisions that caused 15,000 salaried Delphi retirees to take major pension cuts, while retirees who were members of the United Auto Workers received full benefits.

Other unions, such as the International Union of Electrical Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Association of Machinists, took cuts that weren’t as severe as the cuts salaried retirees were required to take, according to the letter.

The letter states that salaried retirees lost health-care benefits and took a 70-percent pension reduction.

The congressmen also take issue with the fact that decisions on the cuts were made by members of the Auto Task Force and not the bankruptcy court.

“In fact, the IUE pensions were initially slated to take the same cuts as salaried retirees, but the [Auto Task Force] reversed this decision three weeks after GM emerged from bankruptcy,” the congressmen said in the letter.

President Barack Obama created the Auto Task Force to oversee the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler after the automakers received government bailouts in December 2008.

General Motors, Delphi’s parent company, later declared bankruptcy in June 2009.

“Because of the substantial taxpayer investment in the auto industry and the role of the federal- government agencies resulting in the reduction or elimination of these benefits, Congress has a responsibility to exercise its oversight authority in this matter and ensure that all Delphi employees receive the pensions they deserve,” the congressmen said in the letter.

Ohio’s District 3 covers Clinton, Highland and parts of Warren and Montgomery counties.

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