While Barack Obama repeatedly claims credit for supposedly saving the auto industry (a bogus claim if there ever were one), the dark side of his actions are increasingly coming out. The true scandal starting to get more attention, in part thanks to the efforts of Speaker John Boehner, is the way the administration wiped out pensions for workers who were non-members of the United Auto Workers at the Delphi auto plant in Ohio, while saving the pensions for UAW members. Here’s a Washington Free Beacon story about it. And the Detroit News covers it here:
Troy-based Delphi, while in bankruptcy in 2009, terminated the pension plans of 70,000 people and left a $7.2 billion shortfall. … In a move that’s brought harsh criticism from Congress, GM topped up the pensions of most union Delphi hourly workers and retirees, largely those of the United Auto Workers union, at a cost of $1 billion.
GM said it took the action because it had agreed to do so as part of the 1999 spinoff — even though it wasn’t legally obligated to do so during the bankruptcy.
GM did not do the same for Delphi’s 20,000 salaried retirees and pension participants. The automaker also didn’t agree to top up pensions of smaller unions.
And “in a growing scandal,” Liz Peek at the Fiscal Times says, “Obama’s former auto czar and two Treasury officials appear implicated in the decision to eliminate the pensions of 20,000 non-union workers at GM’s Delphi unit, while protecting benefits for UAW members.”
But it’s not just Delphi. As the Wall Street Journal reported in a lengthy story back in April, the workers at a highly successful GM plant in Moraine, OH didn’t just lose their pensions; they lost their jobs — again, because they were not members of the UAW.
Despite being one of GM’s most productive and cooperative factories, Moraine was closed following the company’s 2007 labor pact with the United Auto Workers union. Under a deal struck by the UAW during GM’s bankruptcy two years later, Moraine’s 2,500 laid-off workers were barred from transferring to other plants, locking them out of the industry’s rebound.
The trouble with Moraine: Its workers weren’t in the UAW.
This comes on top of a raft of politically inspired dealership closures forced during the bailout — based not on which dealerships were profitable, but which had the better political connections.
And, of course, the unions were given huge ownership stakes in GM and Chrysler, while secured creditors were illegally given pennies on the dollar. Meanwhile, taxpayers have lost something like $25 billion on the bailout, with no chance of recouping it, and also lost a few billion dollars on “green energy” boondoggles to politically connected cronies.
Seton Motley of the “Less Government” organization has been keeping tabs on all this, by the way, at the Breitbart site.
Every one of the stories linked in the above text, by the way, have truly bothersome details in them about crony capitalism and union favoritism run amuck.
The Delphi and Moraine stories, especially, should be continuing major news stories in the next few weeks — if the media has any integrity at all. (Yeah, right.)
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