U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17) today applauded the news of a meeting between the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association (DRSA) and Executive Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Jay Williams. Williams served as Mayor of Youngstown until August 2011, and Brown and Ryan helped arrange the meeting between the DRSA and Williams.
"As Jay knows from his years spent in the Mahoning Valley, thousands of retirees in Ohio dedicated their careers to working for Delphi and General Motors. Many of these retirees are continuing to experience economic hardship following the collapse of their former employer," Brown said. "Even though Jay has moved onto a new role in the Department of Labor, he hasn't forgotten about Ohio and its auto workers--and I applaud him for meeting with the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association today. I encourage Jay to do whatever possible to assist these retirees, who have yet to receive the pensions they earned and deserve."
"Former Delphi union and salaried retirees continue to struggle with the fallout from a policy that wiped away many of the financial promises Delphi made to its workforce," Ryan said. "The treatment of these former Delphi employees was unjust when it was proposed, and it continues to be unjust today. I know executive director Williams will take the concerns of these Delphi retirees back to Washington and continue to work toward a resolution that fairly restores some of the promises Delphi made to its workforce in better times. Jay has always been a friend to the working men and women of the Mahoning Valley and Ohio, so I am certain he will do everything he can to help. These men and women are our friends and neighbors, and they deserve better."
Last Congress, Brown and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17) led a bipartisan group of nine Senators and 24 Representatives from Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, and New York in a letter to the President calling for the federal government to restore fairness for Delphi retirees and minimize the economic effect of the pension loss on their communities. Brown also invited a representative of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) in October 2009. In December 2009, Brown and Ryan testified on behalf of the Delphi retirees before the House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee (HELP).
Last Congress, Brown also cosponsored legislation that would have curbed abuses that deny employees and retirees of their pensions when businesses collapse. The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act would make several changes to Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, emphasizing worker and retiree interests when companies file for bankruptcy.