President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Thursday ordering federal agencies to devise a plan to restore the roughly 20,000 pensions of former Delphi workers who had their pensions slashed in the Obama-Biden administration’s bailout of General Motors (GM).
In 2009, as part of the Obama-Biden administration’s taxpayer-funded bailout of General Motors (GM), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) terminated the pension plans of about 20,0000 non-unionized Delphi workers. In some cases, workers had their pensions gutted by as much as 75 percent.
A federal report in 2013 detailed that the Delphi workers would likely have their pensions cut by an estimated $440 million. Meanwhile, GM topped off unionized Delphi workers’ pensions at a cost of about $1 billion.
After 11 years with no federal action on the issue, Trump is ordering the trade adviser Peter Navarro, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia to devise a plan on how to restore the Delphi workers’ slashed pensions over the next 90 days.
Navarro said in a press call that the pensions “might well be able to be done through executive action” without the need to involve Congress.
Just signed an order to support the workers of Delphi Corporation and make sure that we protect the pensions of all American workers! Obama-Biden FAILED American workers and FAILED the workers of Delphi. I ALWAYS put American workers FIRST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2020
“This is a very good day for blue-collar America,” Navarro said. “… the signal today is we have a strong commitment to reversing what we judge to be one of the worst losses to blue-collar America … and it happened on [former Vice President] Joe Biden and [former President] Barack Obama’s watch.”
The memorandum reads:
The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, shall review the Delphi matter described in subsection 1(a) of this memorandum and inform the President within 90 days of the date of this memorandum of any appropriate action that may be taken, consistent with applicable law, to address affected Delphi retirees’ lost pension benefits, and bring additional transparency to the decision to terminate the plan, consistent with appropriate protections for privileged and confidential material. This review shall include an evaluation of the feasibility of enacting legislation and whether the plan may be restored to its pre-termination status under section 1347 of title 29, United States Code. [Emphasis added]
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), who has advocated for the Delphi workers for more than a decade, praised Trump’s order.
“Today, President Trump is taking action to finally help these hard-working people who were robbed by the Obama-Biden administration,” Turner said in a statement. “For 11 long years, I have been at the forefront of helping the Delphi Salaried Retirees fight to retain their pensions, which they earned through years of faithful service. President Trump is proving yet again that he supports American workers.”
Another portion of the memorandum gives Navarro, Mnuchin, Ross, and Scalia 180 days to review insolvency issues in regards to PBGC pension plans.
“Actions may include proposing legislation that appropriately balances the interests of all those covered by the pension system — from retirees, workers, employers, and unions, to plans and taxpayers — to address the insolvency of such plans and to maintain the future solvency of the PBGC’s Single-Employer and Multi-Employer Programs,” the memorandum reads.
In 2012, federal documents unveiled how the Obama-Biden administration’s Treasury Department worked to gut the pensions of the Delphi workers. In other emails, PBGC officials indicated they had the green light from the Obama-Biden administration to slash the pensions.
Those involved with the pension-slashing scheme, such as Tim Geithner, Steven Rattner, and Ron Bloom, are currently pouring thousands of dollars into Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign.
Navarro said the “root evil” of the Obama-Biden administration’s slashing of the Delphi workers’ pensions “was a globalist trade policy that shipped jobs to China and Mexico.”
“As we face these insolvency issues, part of the problem is that we offshore our production and no longer have the ability, in terms of our manufacturing base, to sustain our retirees and it’s a key part of the Trump mission to bring those jobs back,” Navarro said.
Former Delphi workers who spoke to Breitbart News recently detailed how the pension-slashing scheme uprooted their livelihoods. One retiree said she lost her home and her retirement plans to move to the Florida coast have been squashed.
Exclusive: Forgotten by Obama-Biden Auto Bailout, Delphi Workers Refuse to Forget What Was Taken from Them (Part One) https://t.co/T8SME62Vb4 via @BreitbartNews Biden was a disaster on this. All talk and no action. Remember and VOTE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2020
Another retiree said his wife died in the process as he was forced to find work in order to pay for her medical bills. He had assumed that after 30 years at Delphi, he and his wife would have a good healthcare plan in their retirement. That ended when his pension was cut by about 30 percent.
Delphi, which has since split into Aptiv and Delphi Technologies, announced in 2006 that it would shutter 21 of its 29 plants in the United States — offshoring some 20,000 U.S. jobs to Mexico, China, and other foreign countries.
At the time, Delphi employed nearly 50,000 Americans, who earned about $30 an hour on the assembly line. Now, workers in Mexico for the company earn about $1 an hour.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.