Disaffected Delphi workers to rally against Obama for transparency, accountability

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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As a scandal develops surrounding the Obama administration’s termination of 20,000 non-union Delphi Corp. salaried retirees’ pensions, many of those disaffected workers plan to rally on Thursday in Dayton, Ohio.

At 10 a.m. at least 200 retirees who lost their pensions during the Obama administration’s auto bailout will join Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner at a rally outside a shuttered Delphi plant in Dayton to demand transparency from the Obama administration and accountability from government officials responsible for the decisions that led to their losses.

“Delphi salaried retirees who lost their pensions want to make the point very clear that the Obama administration took their pensions and that they should be restored,” Turner said in a phone interview with The Daily Caller. “When they look at the politics, the back-door dealing, the crony capitalism — they know this was wrong and they think it needs to be fixed, and so do I.”

Thursday is also the deadline for the Obama Treasury Department, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the White House to comply with a House Ways and Means Committee document request pertaining to this scandal. It’s unclear whether Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the PBGC and the White House will meet that deadline.

On Aug. 7, TheDC published internal PBGC emails showing senior White House and Treasury officials were behind the pension terminations. Those emails demonstrate that Geithner and his Treasury Department were the driving force, and contradict sworn testimony in which several Obama administration figures have said that the decision to terminate the pensions came from the PBGC. (RELATED: Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff of non-union Delphi workers’ pensions)

The PBGC is a federal government agency that handles private-sector pension benefits issues. Its charter calls for independent representation of pension beneficiaries’ interests.

Federal law requires that PBGC is the only government entity that may initiate termination of a pension or move toward doing so.

On Wednesday, TheDC published more emails indicating that those same senior Obama officials’ actions enriched their former firms and possibly themselves in the Delphi deal. (RELATED: Emails: Obama officials enriched former firms, possibly themselves with auto bailout)

The conservative organization Let Freedom Ring is running online video ads in key swing states on the Delphi pension issue, making a $7 million ad buy. Colin Hanna, the group’s president, announced the campaign at the beginning of this week as an effort to counter the cries coming out of the Democratic National Convention claiming the Obama auto bailout was a success.

“[A]ll this week Obama and the Democratic Party will be talking about how great the auto bailout was, but they won’t be talking about the non-union workers at Delphi they harmed through the bailout,” Hanna said. “We will be talking about it, and we will empower these workers to speak out with our $7 million advertising campaign, allowing swing voters in key swing states to hear the truth.”

At the same time, some other disaffected Delphi workers have launched a petition online to push for accountability and transparency. The petition calls for national support for the disaffected retirees.

“This petition is being circulated to demonstrate that the American public does not support the Obama Administration’s unfair treatment of the Delphi Salaried Retirees, nor it’s inaction to resolve this issue,” a release accompanying the petition reads. “We believe that President Obama must understand that his Administration erred by picking winners and losers using unjust grounds in the government’s auto recovery plan. He must act to restore our full earned pension benefits that were lost to uphold our Constitution’s premise that all Americans must be treated equally.”

“We are asking the President to stand by his own words that ‘if you work hard and play by the rules, then you’ve earned your pension.’ We do not support Barack Obama’s re-election bid, unless he acts to resolve this issue before this year’s Presidential election.”

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