This is not about politics.
Our economy in this area of Ohio has been struggling through one of the worst recessions in history. Jobs have been lost, homes foreclosed, bankruptcies - of both corporate and personal natures - have occurred, and businesses have closed.
The economic losses associated with the treatment of the Delphi Salaried Retirees has added to the pain in the city of Warren. The good news is, should the Delphi salaried retirees regain their pensions, the economic impact of that would be felt in the city of Warren almost immediately, and it would continue for years to come.
There have been estimates that 1,500 new jobs hang in the balance. If a Congressman or Senator were able to secure some new business that generated 1,500 jobs in this Valley, we would throw parties, laud their political prowess and celebrate a major victory. Indeed, if the salaried retirees get their pensions restored, the Mahoning Valley and, more specifically, the city of Warren, will benefit greatly.
Politics or not, right is right and wrong is wrong. What happened to the Delphi salaried retirees can be corrected. Those folks earned their pensions and need to be treated fairly. This is possible and realistic.
I recently had the privilege of meeting with the Delphi salaried retirees in order to learn more about their plight. I came away impressed by their professionalism and complete sense of fairness. You see, the Delphi salaried retirees do not begrudge the hourly union retirees who had their pensions relatively unaffected. Rather, the salaried retirees seek only the same fair and equitable treatment received by their fellow hourly brethren. All the salaried retirees have ever asked for is fair and equitable treatment - nothing more and nothing less. As important as the contributions made by the hourly retirees were to the vitality of Delphi in years past, equally important were the contributions made by the salaried employees.
As mayor of the largest city in Trumbull County, I was elected to serve each and every one of the citizens of Warren. Additionally, as mayor, I always try to govern all of my decisions under the principles of fairness and equity. Therefore, the issue of the salaried retirees' pensions is not one that falls across political lines. Instead, I see the issue as one of fairness. Accordingly, I felt compelled to write this letter in support of not only the Delphi hourly retirees of the city of Warren, but also the Delphi salaried retirees in the city of Warren. Both groups have the ear of this mayor.
William D. Franklin
City of Warren