Delphi retirees take complaints to D.C.

Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:17 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Former salaried workers of U.S. auto supplier Delphi said the bankruptcy proceedings of Delphi and General Motors Co. drastically cut their pension benefits.

"We got thrown under the bus," said former salaried worker Charles Cunningham of Ohio.

Cunningham and others testified before a House Education and Labor pensions subcommittee hearing, The Buffalo, N.Y. News reported Thursday.

In bankruptcy, Delphi transferred its pension fund obligations to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the agency designed to rescue pension funds of failing companies. GM, however, not long out of bankruptcy itself, purchased parts of Delphi's divisions this summer and then agreed to replenish Delphi's union pension funds. Salaried workers, however, were left out of that loop.

Those who testified received bi-partisan support, the News said. "I'm deeply troubled to think about the role of the federal government in dictating unfair treatment," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.

Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., said the salaried workers' treatment was "rather astonishing."

The unfunded pensions amount to an average loss of about $300,000 per retired salaried worker, the News said.

"Some will have incomes below the national poverty level," said former Delphi employee Bruce Gump.

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