A collection of emails recently obtained by The Daily Caller have called into question just how the decision was made to eliminate or substantially reduce the pensions of 20,000 workers from Delphi. Until now, it was assumed that the company made the cutbacks as a surprise, but now it has become apparent that those 20,000 jobs were eliminated for one reason above all else: They were non-unionized jobs.
A General Motors company, Delphi is one of the largest manufacturers of auto parts in the entire world. Their United States operations stretch from Michigan and Ohio to Indiana and New York. In 2009, 20,000 non-unionized workers lost nearly their entire pensions when the government bailed out GM. On the other hand, those workers that were part of the United Auto Workers saw their pensions stabilize, and even grow.
For those that find it hard to believe, read on. Like many previous Democratic administrations, the Obama administration has been in bed with various unions from the beginning. From SEIU to the UAW, they have been perfectly willing to accept large amounts of union money in exchange for preferential treatment, such as granting waivers from Obamacare.
The emails that were obtained by The Daily Caller completely contradict sworn testimony given in court and before Congress by several administration officials. If that were not serious enough, they also shed light on the fact that the administration apparently misled both the courts and Congress as to the timeline and sequence of events that led up to the elimination of the pensions for those non-union employees. According to these emails, the figures that the administration used violated federal law.
It was initially stated that the PBGC, or the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, was supposed to be in charge. Instead, the emails reveal that the Treasury Department was running things the entire time. This could spell even more trouble for the administration. Under 29 U.S.C. §1342, the independent PBGC is the only government organization that is legally allowed to terminate a pension or even take steps towards doing so.
20,000 non-unionized workers lost their pensions so that unionized workers would not have to.
The emails do nothing to help the administration.
Three PBGC workers, Joseph House, Karen Morris and Michael Rae were included in a particularly telling exchange. In the emails, House at first tells Morris and Rae that they will be invited to attend a meeting where they will discuss Chrysler, GM, and Delphi. A later email tells them that they were uninvited at the request of the Treasury Department. Because representatives of the PBGC were not present at the meetings, this is more than likely a violation of 29 U.S.C. §1342. Treasury officials aren't legally allowed to discuss pensions without members of the PBGC in the room.
Click to view the emails.
Much like the now infamous Fast and Furious hearings, it appears that the administration provided false information to the courts and to Congress. They violated federal law by not including the PBGC in a discussion and decision which led to the elimination of pensions, a decision which led to 20,000 workers losing their pensions that they had worked for.
Just imagine the outrage if this had occurred under the Bush administration, or if the workers that lost their pensions were unionized.
Some defenders of the Obama administration may try to shift the argument, deflect and point to things they didn't like that took place under previous administrations. The American people deserve better than to listen to a bunch of apologists point to the past.
We live in the present, under this administration. This President came into office on the promise of hope and change and complete transparency. The Republicans will no doubt pounce on this issue, pointing to the fact that this is all coming from the same administration that accused GOP nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney of stealing and eliminating pensions when he worked at Bain Capital.
What happened four, eight, or twenty years ago no longer matters. Like Fast and Furious, the Obama administration has been caught red-handed, and could now find itself in a great deal of trouble. Unfortunatley, this could end up being yet another thing that will be swept under the rug and not prosecuted, just like Fast and Furious. Let's hope not.