Senators agree on fairness

Senators agree on fairness

In an era of dwindling bipartisan ship, Ohio’s two U.S. senators have again joined forces on behalf of Delphi’s retirees, who fared poorly in the General Motors reorganization more than three years ago.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, have urged U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to review a proposal submitted by the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association last summer. They also suggested that he meet with retiree leaders to discuss that proposal and any other course of action aimed at correcting pension and health care coverage disparities.

Thousands lost out

Some 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees and about 19,000 other hourly employees lost access to GM health coverage and saw their pension payments reduced when the plans were taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Hourly Delphi retirees who were represented by three unions received their full pensions.

Once the federal government became the primary player in GM’s bankruptcy, there should have been only one standard for defining how pensions and health coverage would be allocated.

The Obama administration has stalled long enough. Lew should respond to the appeal from Brown and Portman and begin working on an equitable solution.

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