Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden said 20,000 non-unionized Delphi workers “did fine” after they had their earned pensions gutted via the Obama administration’s taxpayer-funded auto bailout of General Motors (GM).
In 2009, as part of the Obama-Biden administration’s bailout of GM, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) terminated the pension plans of about 20,0000 non-unionized American workers with the auto parts supplier Delphi Automotive Systems. In some cases, workers had their pensions gutted by 30 to 70 percent.
A federal report in 2013 detailed that the Delphi workers would likely have their pensions cut by an estimated $440 million.
In 2012, Biden downplayed the impact that the pension gutting scheme had on working and middle-class retirees at Delphi, as Politico noted:
“Some of them got hurt,” Biden tells the interviewer. “The vast majority, because of the federal pension board they have out there to make up differences when companies go under like this, most did fine.” [Emphasis added]
This isn’t the way the Delphi workers see it, as the interviewer explains. Biden insists it’s out of the White House’s control. [Emphasis added]
Despite Biden’s insistence that the Obama-Biden administration had little to do with PBGC’s slashing of Delphi pensions, emails published in August 2012 revealed otherwise:
In what may contradict testimony by Obama administration officials under oath and may be a violation of federal law, The Daily Caller obtained emails that show Timothy Geithner’s Treasury Department “was the driving force behind terminating the pensions of 20,000 salaried retirees at the Delphi auto parts manufacturing company,” and the move, according to The Daily Caller, “appears to have been made solely because those retirees were not members of labor unions.” [Emphasis added]
Four days later, in another set of emails, the Daily Caller discovered Vince Snowbarger, who was the acting director of the PBGC at the time, sent internal e-mails to begin the process of enacting the pension cuts and indicated he had received the green light from Obama administration officials. [Emphasis added]
While Biden has long downplayed the devastating impact of the Delphi workers’ pension cuts, President Trump is now considering restoring the pensions, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro confirmed in a statement:
The Obama-Biden non-solution to the GM bankruptcy was to help offshore Delphi operations to Mexico and China while stripping the pensions from Delphi’s hardworking Salaried Retirees. We are looking at every legal option available to remedy this Obama-Biden betrayal. This issue has the President’s attention.
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.