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Treasury Dept. agrees to meet with Delphi workers about pensions

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Treasury say they will meet with Delphi retirees who saw their pensions slashed by up to 70 percent as a result of the 2009 auto bailout.

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and three other U.S. senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew last month urging him to meet with Delphi salaried retirees to review their proposal to restore the lost pensions. In a letter sent to Brown yesterday, Alistair Fitzpayne, assistant secretary for legislative affairs for Treasury wrote that the department “is happy to schedule a meeting with” the retirees.

Fitzpayne said, however, that Treasury has met with representatives of the association before “and is happy to continue discussing this matter with them.”

“We recognize that the bankruptcies of GM and Delphi have been extremely difficult and challenging for all their employees and retirees,” Fitzpayne wrote, but added that the bailout “kept over one million Americans employed.”

Tom Crosson, a spokesman for Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said such a meeting “is long overdue.”

Brown, as well, called for a solution.

“I will continue to stand by the Delphi retirees as they make their important case to the Administration,” Brown said.

The 2009 auto bailout restored pensions of union Delphi retirees, but slashed pensions of more than 20,000 non-union salaried retirees, including about 700 in the Dayton area by anywhere from 30 to 70 percent.

Tom Rose, a Delphi retiree from Washington Twp., said he was happy to hear the news. He said retirees have offered a plan that would not cost any taxpayer money but would pay for salaried employees’ pensions retroactively and moving forward.

“We’ve been wanting to meet with them forever,” he said.

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