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Turner Criticizes Government Handling of Delphi Pensions

In a new interview with  TexasGOPVote.com, Rep. Mike Turner (R., Ohio) criticizes the government-directed bankruptcy of Delphi, which left more than 20,000 non-union Delphi employees with their pensions wiped out.

Delphi, an auto-supplier spin-off of General Motors, underwent a government-directed bankruptcy during the auto bailout.

"In the end, what we see, is that there are individuals who by contract were guaranteed pensions, and in the process of the auto bailout, their pensions were reduced," Turner says in the interview. "The taxpayers ended up owning General Motors, and UAW ended up having their pensions fully restored. That kind of inequity, where people were working together at the same company for years and have this disparate outcome is just wrong."

The Washington Free Beacon reported last week on the story of Fred and Dave Arndt, brothers who worked at General Motors and then Delphi:

After more than 30 years with the company, the brothers retired in their native Michigan. They watched as Delphi’s growing labor costs dragged it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005. It would not emerge until 2009 when the government stepped in with $50 billion for GM.

And then the Arndt brothers’ paths diverged. Fred, 64, lost his health, dental, and life insurance, along with 70 percent of his pension. Dave lost five percent of his health insurance and some dental coverage.

His pension, however, was made whole.

The difference: union membership. Dave is a member of United Auto Workers—the labor group that financially backs the Democratic Party. Fred was considered management.

"I worked for GM and Delphi because I thought I had security; I worked my buns off to be a ‘company guy,’ and to be treated this way in retirement is incredible," he said. "I knew there would be a price to pay, but I expected everyone to take a cut—not just the salaried guys."