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Delphi retirees Rep: Emails show ‘back-door deal’ to cut benefits

Published: Thu, August 9, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick



Emails between the U.S. Treasury Department and the agency that handled the retirement benefits for Delphi salaried retirees reveal a “back-door deal” by the president’s administration to not protect those nonunion members, a congressman said.

President Barack Obama’s “administration decided to pick winners and losers” in the auto bailout that left the 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees, including 1,500 in the Mahoning Valley, without health and life insurance and pension cuts of 30 percent to 70 percent, said U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Centerville, Ohio, R-3rd.

The Daily Caller, a conservative website that published the emails, says they were obtained from the Treasury Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which took over the Delphi salaried retirees’ pensions in 2009 after General Motors declared bankruptcy.

The Obama administration “has been misrepresenting this process,” Turner said Wednesday during a conference call organized by the Republican National Committee.

The administration has said Treasury didn’t make the decision to cut Delphi salaried retirees’ benefits, but the emails contradict that, Turner said.

While the Delphi salaried retirees had benefits eliminated and pensions cut, Delphi hourly retirees, who were members of the United Auto Workers, were fully covered by GM, which received a bailout from the federal government.

Bruce Gump, a retired Delphi engineer in Warren, said on the RNC call that gaining “access to documents has been extremely difficult. These are documents, in my mind, that should have been publicly available so I could at least understand why this was done to me and others.”

The issue has been a contentious one between the campaigns of Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger.

Commenting on behalf of the Obama campaign, Willie Thorpe, IUE-CWA Region 7 director in the Dayton area, said “there are a lot of misguided claims” from Romney and Turner.

“As independent fact-checkers have found, the Delphi salaried pension plan was handled according to the standard procedure that applied in 34 other corporate bankruptcies” in 2009, Thorpe said.

“I am extremely sympathetic to those who lost their pension during the GM restructuring,” he said, but added it is wrong for Romney and Turner to “score political points” with this issue.

Additional documents are needed to “follow the line where the administration has been caught red-handed with emails discussing what was happening at the time of those back-door deals where the Obama Treasury was coordinating on behalf of” GM, PBGC and the Auto Task Force, Turner said.


1southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Always look out for salaried workers and higher ups - but who cares about the average front-line workers? Apparently, no one at Delphi.

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2fcb(463 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The hourly workers had a contract with the company and union to protect their retirement.The salaried workers did not.Simple! During the history of Delphi or better know as Packard Electric the salaried workers were asked many times to unionize and each time they turned it down.Three times in my history with the company, They made a decision then and now they must live with that decision.

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3Champsummers(4 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

President Obama and his cronies favored Unions in the bankruptcy. If the automotive companies had gone through a traditional bankruptcy the union contracts would have been void and all employees would have been treated the same. No more GM or Chrysler cars for me....I'm DONE!

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4HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

fcb, in a bankruptcy, the union contract is supposed to be null and void. The Obama admin circumvented a normal bankruptcy and protected the hourly workers and not the salaried. It had nothing to do with any union contract.

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5InterestedInAll2(11 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

From what we have all heard, the old contracts were with old GM. New GM claimed to not be obligated to them, and the bankruptcy court had agreed because New GM no longer employed any of the workers from the favored unions. A BILLION DOLLARS of our taxes were used to support a politically favored group at the expense of another less politically favored group and that has damaged our economy in this area, and caused more people to lose their jobs as a result. That is just bad or even corrupt government and it should be immediately corrected.

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6fcb(463 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Do not agree! Union contract was with old and new GM. It's a known fact that being a salaried employee that you are at the mercy of higher ups. You darn well know that if your boss takes a disliking to you that he will get rid of you and you will have no recourse.During the history of the company the salaried employees had a lot of benefits that the hourly people did not get.As a matter of fact each contract the salaried employees got the same or ,most times a little more that the hourly worker. For years salaried employees would buy new cars every six months and sell them to the hourly people for a profit!! Now that it's a election year every one wants to throw the blame towards the President.I do feel for these people but a lot of them had the opportunity to switch from salaried to hourly when the company changed and they chose to stay where they were.I know because I was a salaried employee for over 20 years but made the switch to hourly when given the chance. No,they made their choice and now they must deal with it.

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The salary workers where told to trust me we will take care of you by Delphi (not GM) . And you see what happened ,
Now they want the company that they had not worked for, for 10 years .They need someone to blame , so GM, the UAW and their neighbors are easy targets .
So remember

“Never argue with a stupid person for they will only bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience

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8fcb(463 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Anybody but Obama the man says. Like who,another George bush maybe? What a joke.

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9VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Some blame CEO's and Management for lousy back door deals, but Obama is proving he is one of the best at back door deals, bankruptcies, stiffing workers and losing billions of taxpayers' dollars.

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10classics(53 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

fcb, amazing how the O Admin wants to cite the GAO study except for the part that says GM had no obligation to the contracts. You are not correct here on several fronts, esp the fact that salaried did not try to unionize. They were stabbed in the back on that front. Could it be that the union and top brass collaborated to keep that from happening? Be better informed and not so naive.

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