DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - There's new movement in the fight to get Delphi salaried employees their full pensions, after the General Motors bailout in 2009.
A congressional field hearing brought lawmakers to Sinclair Community College Monday.
Hourly employees got their full pensions, but salaried workers received 30 to 70 percent of their full pensions, and they're suing to get the rest.
They're getting congressional support
In a hearing Monday in Dayton many testified, that they're owed the same treatment as their unionized, hourly co-workers
"They played god and they played with people's lives and they purposefully hurt tens of thousands of American citizens in the process," said former Delphi employee, Bruce Gump.
Congressman Mike Turner is in town holding a hearing for those impacted by the 2009 bailout of General Motors, which directly impacted their major auto parts producer Delphi
But this hearing is all about the workers who were salaried.
"We are fighting an injustice here. There is no one who believes that in the area of pensions that this type of discretion where someone picks winners and someone picks losers would be permitted," said Rep. Mike Turner
The Delphi salaried employees say their health care was eliminated and pensions have been cut by up to 70 percent unlike the unionized, hourly employees.
"These Delphi salaried employees did not have anybody at the table representing them when they should have," said Rep. Turner.
That is leaving a lasting impact on the lives of thousands.
"This loss has been devastating for our salaried retirees and our families. Congressman, this has caused home foreclosures, bankruptcies, family break-ups, suicides, serious stress related illnesses and an on-going struggle just to pay routine bills," said former Delphi employee, Mary Miller.
They hope their testimonies inspire lawmakers in Washington to get answers and results.
"All we really want is what we earned, the justice that was provided to our co-workers. Real people are suffering from this illegal and unethical treatment of our government," said Gump.
A key player in this situation is the U.S. government agency, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Delphi salaried employees say they have tried to work with them to regain their lost pension earnings but have hit many roadblocks in trying to obtain information on why this all happened in the first place.
2 News received a response from them which reads, "PBGC continues to respond to discovery requests associated with the litigation brought by the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association (DSRA) in federal court in Detroit. The agency is also involved in an on-going series of depositions related to the litigation. In addition, the agency has kept in contact with staff to the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, as well as a variety of Congressional offices in Ohio and other states where DSRA members reside, on issues related to the Delphi pension plans."
Delphi salaried retirees say they've spent millions of dollars on a lawsuit since the 2009 auto bailout.
They want to know why their union co-workers, who were paid by the hour, got their full pensions, while salaried workers are only getting a portion-- some as little as 30 percent.
Nearly four years have gone by and Delphi salaried employees are still not seeing their full pensions.
Now, lawmakers are stepping in hoping to get something done.
"We hope this will be a launching pad to pull together some of those past hearings that have occurred, take them back to Washington DC and continue to put pressure on the administration to tell the truth. What happened in respect to these pensions and how we can get these monies restored," said Congressman John Mica.
Congressman Mike Turner believes the trouble with the pensions started with the bankruptcy of General Motors in 2009.
He says the federal government and the PBGC became the ones in charge of the money.
According to workers, they have asked for answers and what they do get isn't helping.
Now, a house sub committee that's dedicated to holding government agencies accountable is taking on the case,
"We are reaching several milestones in this process, there's an inspector general report that is due, there's ongoing litigation. We are highlighting the work that has already been done in the investigation in Washington DC," said Rep. Turner.
They say they're willing to do whatever it takes to get answers, and have an important message for those waiting.
"Their congressman has not forgotten them. This is important. Billions of dollars of tax payer money was used," said Congressman Mica.
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