Members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Director Joshua Gotbaum requesting documents and communications regarding the Obama administration's involvement in closed door deals that resulted in Delphi union employees receiving more favorable treatment than their non-union coworkers.
"It's past time for the Obama administration to stop hiding the facts and start cooperating with congressional oversight," said committee chairman John Kline (R-MN). "For more than three years, Delphi's non-union workers have been demanding answers about decisions made in secret that weakened their retirement security. They deserve to know who in the administration helped pick winners and losers and why."
In 2009, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) terminated the pension plans of the Delphi Corporation, a former subsidiary of General Motors (GM). As part of a restructuring plan approved by the Obama administration, GM ensured that unionized retirees of Delphi received their full benefits. However, non-union workers did not receive similar treatment, and as a result, they now face significant reductions in their pensions.
The Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions previously held a hearing to examine the Delphi bankruptcy and its impact on workers and retirees. Following the hearing, committee Republicans wrote to Treasury Secretary Geithner requesting the release of all documents relating to the federal government's involvement in the restructuring of GM and Delphi's pensions plans. Despite assurances it would comply, the Treasury Department never provided the substantive information requested.
A recent media report alleges the Treasury Department played a leading role in negotiations that resulted in the termination of the Delphi plans. Another report suggests members of President Obama's Auto Task Force made decisions that benefitted their previous employers and possibly themselves. As the committee members note in their letter to Secretary Geithner and Director Gotbaum:
The Committee on Education and the Workforce remains committed to overseeing the federal government's restructuring of the General Motors Company (GM), and its consequences for the pension benefits of workers at the Delphi Corporation To better understand the role of the PBGC in this matter, it is critical the committee receive documents and information from PBGC and the Treasury Department, including those requested by committee members in December 2009.