Speaking at the Lockport Municipal Building and surrounded by Delphi retirees from across Western New York, Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) today outlined several important steps to continue to fight for fair and equitable treatment for all Delphi workers and retirees.
President Obama last week took a "victory lap" to "tout the revival" of the domestic auto industry but once again failed to address the more than 20,000 Delphi workers and retirees who have seen dramatic reductions to their pensions they were promised and earned.
Congressman Lee recently sent a letter to Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector General For the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), to ask him to "conduct an official investigation" into thesuspect timing of the PBGC's involuntary resolution of Delphi's pension plans and subsequent expedited bankruptcy of GM, the PBGC's release of its liens on Delphi assets (reportedly worth several billion dollars) that could have helped bolster Delphi's salaried pension plan, and other important issues(to read this letter, please click HERE). Congressman Lee also introduced legislation in the House that requires the Auto Task Force, PBGC, and the Treasury to provide all relevant information to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on their decision regarding Delphi Salaried Retirees (to view the legislation, please click HERE).
"These steps are necessary because of the Obama Administration's refusal to answer why the unjust decision was made to choose winners and losers between Delphi workers and retirees," said Congressman Lee. "I've joined my colleagues in sending seven letters to the Administration and to date have not received anythingsubstantive from the Obama Administration and no explanation as to how and why these decisions were made. The lack of accountability and transparency in these decisions that affected 20,000 Americans."
As a result of bankruptcy negotiations that occurred in 2009 between Delphi Corporation, General Motors, and the Treasury Department's Automotive Task Force, Delphi's salaried and hourly pension plans were turned over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), resulting in devastating cuts to their pensions and bridge payments promised through early buyout packages, on top of previous cuts to their life and health insurance.
"Every step of the way the administration has stonewalled and refused to provide any documentation that led to their decisions," Lee added. "Given that American taxpayers own 60 percent of GM, they deserve to know why the Obama Administration made the decisions it made and left more than 20,000 of their neighbors -- including thousands of Western New Yorkers -- out in the cold."