Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Delphi Retirees

Obama Admin Avoiding GM Losses

GM The Obama administration has rebuked pleas from General Motors to sell off government shares to the automaker.

Obama's 'You're On Your Own' Policy For Delphi Retirees

Cronyism: The White House is stonewalling three Congressional committees seeking to find out why GM bailout cash topped pensions of union workers while nonunion Delphi workers got stiffed. What are they hiding?

Something ugly is going on when an administration that claims always to be looking out for "the middle class" does a number on 21,000 quintessentially middle-class managers, engineers and secretaries at Delphi Corporation, the General Motors-affiliated auto parts manufacturer which got sucked down along with GM in the cratering of the auto industry.

As the bailout was hashed out, Delphi workers got their pensions cut as much as 70%, while the United Auto Workers and other unions were made whole.
How did this happen? None other than through White House and Treasury Department intervention.

Obama administration officials apparently muscled in on the work of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) — an independent pension agency for bankrupt companies that by law is not permitted to play favorites — and played favorites.

Emails obtained by dogged Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle show that the PBGC was "uninvited" to secretive meetings about what to do with worker pensions and the Treasury Department took over.

As a result, union workers were treated with favor, getting their pensions topped up to 100% in a special "voluntary" deal with GM premised on the fact that GM feared disruption of its supply lines (read: sabotage) while non-union workers got the shaft.

Well, some are now bankrupt, some in foreclosure, and some endure family break-ups as the massive stress of income cuts averaging 45% have taken their toll, according to retired Delphi engineer Bruce Gump, who spoke to IBD this week.
Now vice chairman of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, his group is trying to gain equal treatment under the law.

"All of these words from the president and vice president — that if you work hard and play by the rules — have failed," Gump said. Obama administration officials have slammed doors in their faces, ignored their phone calls, and promised follow-ups at community meetings that never happened, he noted.

There have been popular demonstrations in Ohio and around the Midwest for the Delphi workers. That may be why Vice President Joe Biden, on a campaign stop last week in Ohio, mugged for the camera with a biker mama at a truck stop cafe as two toughs glared in a photo.
It made a news splash but what it really did was obscure the real news in Ohio that day — that hundreds of Delphi workers were in the streets demanding justice after Obama told them "you're on your own."

That's why three separate House committees all have found sufficient grounds for launching investigations into what they call the "closed door deals" around this Delphi deal.

The Obama administration is treating these committees with the same contempt it treats all congressional investigations, and already has missed its Sept. 7 deadline for delivering e-mails to one committee which could confirm what the Daily Caller reported — that Treasury and the White House were calling the shots on who would get a pension, and who would not.

As those emails dribble out, there's every indication that laws commanding equal treatment of all workers in bankruptcy and respecting the independence of the PBGC were broken. Obama officials are already on record as saying they were not responsible for treating workers unequally. But the emails suggest otherwise.

What does this say? It says that the $80 billion auto bailout that is now touted as a triumph by the Obama campaign was little more than a payout to Big Labor — one that came at the expense of non-union workers.
That's the truth that should see daylight, without another cover-up.

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