×

Trump may step in for Delphi retirees

Fight for pensions going on for decade

President Donald Trump may intervene on behalf of a group of Delphi salaried retirees in their 10-year battle for their full pensions, says a congressman who asked for Trump’s help this week.

Dayton Republican Mike Turner on Thursday said Trump “is now considering” stepping in on the side of the retirees in their struggle with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which terminated the pensions of 20,000 or so salaried retirees, including some 1,500 from the Mahoning Valley, in 2009.

Turner and Gov. Mike De- Wine, also a Republican, asked Trump on Monday while aboard Air Force One to intervene in the matter, according to Turner’s office. Trump campaigned in the Dayton and Toledo areas Monday.

“President Trump understands that the Obama administration unjustly terminated these pensions. He is now considering intervening on behalf of the retirees in this over decadelong fight,” Turner said in a release on his congressional website.

Said DeWine in the release, “The president was receptive to our message of the plight of these retirees. I urge him to move forward to aid these retirees and their pensions.”

The retirees group was dealt another blow earlier this month when the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals backed a Michigan federal court judge’s decision. That decision sided with the PBGC to dismiss the salaried group’s lawsuit filed in 2009 over the lost retirement funding. Some lost as much as 70 percent.

In doing so, a three-judge panel of the court ruled the PBGC did not need court approval to terminate the pension fund and did not violate due process rights or act recklessly in making the decision.

The group has 45 days to appeal from the Sept. 1 ruling, either back to the court for the same three judges to examine the case again with added clarification, for the full court to review the matter or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Delphi, formerly Packard Electric that at one time was part of General Motors’ parts division, filed for bankruptcy in October 2005 and emerged four years later. While Delphi was in bankruptcy protection in 2009, it relinquished responsibility for all of its employee pensions to PBGC.

General Motors continued contributing to union-represented retirees, but salaried retirees were left with substantially reduced pensions. Those salaried retirees have argued the administration of former President Barack Obama ignored them while guiding GM through its own 2009 bankruptcy.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who joined with Turner and other Republicans previously to seek Trump’s help, said the retirees “deserve to be made whole, and I would love to work with the administration to fix this issue.”

“I urge President Trump to address this immediately,” said Ryan, D-Howland.

Peter Navarro, assistant to Trump for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, called the matter the “Obama-Biden betrayal,” and a “non-solution” that helped Delphi offshore jobs while stripping away the salaried pensions.

“We are looking at every legal option available to remedy this Obama-Biden betrayal. This issue has the president’s attention,” Navarro said.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said in response, “Trump has done nothing to prevent the offshoring of American jobs” and “his tax scam actually encourages companies to ship jobs overseas.

“Trump attacked the workers of GM Lordstown, even as GM decided to make their Chevy Blazer in Mexico. He attacked Goodyear, an Ohio company that employs thousands of workers here. It’s disgusting to see the Trump administration try to act like they care about workers now that they have an election,” Pepper said.

rselak@tribtoday.com

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
     

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today