President Donald Trump has directed a trio of federal agencies to review the case of Delphi employees whose pensions were lost when the company went bankrupt in 2005.
In a memo issued by the White House on Monday, Trump directed the secretaries of the Commerce, Treasury and Labor departments to take a closer look at the circumstances surrounding the pension losses. Under the directive, the departments have 90 days to provide recommendations on the matter.
While some former union employees did receive pensions through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Trump's memo notes that other non-union workers spent the last decade "in legal and financial limbo" while they "challenged the termination of their pension plan in the Federal courts.
The directive was welcomed on Monday by U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-Buffalo, who said salaried and non-union employees of Delphi Corp., especially those living in Lockport, "suffered at the hands of the Obama-Biden failed economic bailout policies" and now the federal government has a chance to correct what he described as a "great wrong."
"No employee should face the devastation of the unlawful stripping of their pension benefits they spent years of dedicated service working toward. I am proud to stand with the great workers of Western New York, and I look forward to seriously considering the options delivered by this study," Jacobs said.
Delphi Automotive Systems, an auto parts company, went bankrupt in 2009 during the financial crisis. As a result of bankruptcy, the pension fund for salaried employees was transferred to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which then terminated the fund. Thus, retiree benefits were cut by 40% to 70%. 22,000 retirees formed the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association and claimed their pensions were unlawfully cut – they have been in court over this dispute for most of the last decade.