Delphi retirees launch petition, asking Obama to resolve pension - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Delphi retirees launch petition, asking Obama to resolve pension and health cuts

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A group of Delphi salaried retirees are coming forward and claiming the Obama administration "unfairly picked winners and losers" in the government's auto recovery plan.

An online petition is being launched to support the 22,000 Delphi salaried retirees, who following the bankruptcies of General Motors and Delphi, lost up to 70% of their pensions, all of their health care and all of their life insurance.

The group claims the cuts are a result of President Obama's re-organization of the American auto industry, who although cut their benefits, used government financing to meet the pre-bankruptcy pensions of more than 500,000 union retirees.

"They can't be choosing winners and losers by saying we like this group, but we don't like that group," explained Delphi Salaried Retirees Association Vice-Chairman Bruce Gump. "That's what they did in this case and the whole community has been damaged as a result."

Of the 22,000 retirees affected, it's estimated 1,500 live in the Valley. As a result, a study prepared by Youngstown State University indicates the Valley has lost nearly $175 million of economic impact, along with more than 1,700 additional jobs.

"We've had a number of hearings in Congress," said Congressman Michael Turner of Dayton. "Trying to force the administration to come forward with the documents about how they took these pensions and health care benefits away. Really averting the normal bankruptcy process we expect in our country."

In a statement released by Obama for America, the Ohio Press Secretary Jessica Kershaw says, "Independent fact checkers have found the Delphi salaried pension plan was handled according to the standard procedure that applied in 34 other corporate bankruptcies that year."

Currently, the Delphi retirees and the U.S. Treasury are awaiting a ruling from a federal court determining if records of the decisions made during the auto bailout must be revealed.

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