Delphi salaried retirees rally to restore pensions
Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -
Hundreds of Delphi salaried retirees took to the streets of downtown Flint on Sunday to demand what's owed to them -- all of what's owed to them.
"We have over 22,000 Delphi salaried retirees who aren't receiving their full pension," said retiree Beth Bernthal.
In 2009, when Delphi went through bankruptcy, Delphi workers not represented by the United Auto Workers union saw a sharp cut to their pension packages.
"At that time, the pension was actually reduced, so we are still getting a small amount, anywhere from 30-to-50 percent of our pension, but the majority has been lost," explained Bernthal.
Most were former General Motors workers who had spent decades with the company.
"When I walked out, I thought I had it all, and two months later I had nothing, so I'm living on a savings account now," said salaried Delphi retiree Al Gerwin. "I'm not going to live the retirement that I've worked for 40 years to do."
And all the retirees are anxiously waiting for the outcome of a lawsuit against the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the government group that took over the retiree's pension benefits after the bankruptcy.
"I've frozen my pension and had to go to work elsewhere in the hopes that they'll get this resolved and I'll get my full pension and be able to retire," said Delphi salaried retiree Ruth Ann Little.
And now the pensioners say their golden years are anything but.
And so by wielding signs during their protest that read "Give gramma back her full pension," and "Restore equality of pensions," they intend to send the message that they're not giving up until they get full reinstatement of their pension.
"We want fair and equitable treatment, and get the word out to make sure that as we go forward, we get that," said Bernthal.
In Michigan, about 6,000 salaried retirees are dealing with lower pensions.
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