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Rep. Mike Turner Comments on Treasury Dept. Involvement in Delphi Pension Cuts

When automaker, General Motors, went through bankruptcy in 2009, about 20,000 non-union, salaried retirees from Delphi saw their pensions slashed, and other benefits like health and life insurance dropped completely.  Those cuts were not applied to all Delphi union workers.  WYSO’s Jerry Kenney reports, fingers are now pointing at the US Treasury Department for not applying those cuts evenly for all Delphi workers.

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In a press conference with reporters, Congressman Mike Turner says between 1000 and 1500 Delphi retirees here in the Miami Valley were affected by those pension cuts.  That was not the case for United Auto Worker retirees, members of the UAW, who kept their pensions and medical benefits.  There is some controversy now about where the decision to let union workers keep their pensions, while cutting the pensions of non-union workers came from.

Turner said, “The Obama Administration has] previously said that the pension decisions were made by General Motors, then they said they were made by PPGC, the emails that are now surfacing clearly show that this was ran by treasury and back door deals with the Auto Task Force, the PPGC and of course General Motors being acquired by the taxpayers through the Treasury were all being coordinated through the treasury department, resulting in what we believe may be illegal activity, but is definitely improper activity…"

Tom Rose of Dayton worked for GM for 39 years – the last 9 years were at Delphi.  During the press conference, he stated that [he felt] "absolutely betrayed and I don’t understand why I was designated as a ‘loser.’ I lost all of my life insurance, all of my healthcare for my family and myself, and in my case I also suffered a 40 percent pension cut…  So what I don’t understand is how can our own government pick winners and losers amongst its own citizens.”

Congressman Turner says the emails surfacing as a result of both the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association lawsuit and congressional hearings are in direct conflict with previous testimony from Obama administration officials.  He’s calling for ongoing investigations with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the Treasury Department’s involvement.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.