Here’s the latest update to my reporting on the Delphi disaster — the economic horror story Team Obama won’t tell.
As you know, the White House auto team and Treasury Department cut a backroom deal with the UAW to cover union workers’ pensions while shafting non-union salaried workers who were deemed politically expendable. The Delphi salaried workers have sued the feds and won their first court battle against the government, which sought to have the charges dismissed late last month. I noted last month that the TARP inspector general launched a probe into the feds’ actions.
Now, there will be a second probe by the General Accounting Office. As Den Black, head of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association told me this morning: “Heat is being turned up.”
It’s about time.
And an announcement via Mississippi GOP Sen. Roger Wicker’s office:
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. House of Representatives Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) today thanked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for agreeing to conduct an independent analysis of the administration’s treatment of union and non-union Delphi retirees. The GAO will coordinate their work with the Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, who has also agreed to investigate the matter.
“Americans deserve to know how this administration used taxpayer dollars during the GM bankruptcy proceedings,” said Wicker. “I am glad the GAO has agreed to investigate this important issue so we can determine whether union members received preferential treatment on pension decisions. Delphi workers, retirees, and their families have waited long enough for a resolution to this matter.”
“I’m pleased that the GAO has taken up this investigation, and hope that they’ll succeed in getting a full explanation from GM and the Automotive Task Force regarding the special treatment of certain Delphi retirees,” Boehner said. “Was this yet another decision by the Obama administration to reward union bosses and liberal special interests? American taxpayers and Delphi’s salaried retirees deserve answers.”
Following the 2009 bankruptcy negotiations between Delphi Corporation, General Motors, and the Department of Treasury’s Automotive Task Force, many non-unionized Delphi workers received devastating cuts to their pension plans while unionized retirees were made whole. To date, GM has received more than $70 billion in taxpayer funding to sustain the company. Under the Obama administration, the federal government acquired a 60-percent ownership of GM as a result of the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. The United Auto Workers Union received a 17.5 percent ownership in the auto manufacturer. Wicker and Boehner expressed concern that not all Delphi retirees’ pension plans were treated equitably in the GM bankruptcy proceedings and have called on the administration to be more transparent about how pension decisions were made.
On August 9, 2010, Wicker and Boehner sent a letter to GAO Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting an investigation of the Delphi pension plans.
In a letter dated October 4, 2010, GAO accepted the request and agreed to investigate the process by which Delphi pension plans were canceled while other plans were protected.