I truly sympathize with my Delphi salary counterparts. As retirees of GM / Delphi, we all were made promises that simply were not kept. There is plenty of blame to go around as I discovered when, as a concerned hourly retiree, I attended multiple meetings with members of the Delphi salary retirees at different venues across our great state and country.
We attended meetings with politicians on both sides of the aisle, and what I noticed most was each side had their idea on how to fix this particular issue, but in totally different ways. One side would have liked to use stimulus money to resolve the issue while the other side was looking for someone to blame.
The problem we're now facing should have been addressed many years ago when the steel industry faced similar issues. Once again, the political powers that be have not stepped up to fix the issues facing all retirees.
Realistically when starting a business, one must get financing; the financier secures their repayment with a lein on assets and interest on money lent. Suppliers can demand payment up front or on a timely repayment schedule. Workers, on the other hand, have no such means of guaranteeing what is rightfully theirs. Workers are at the mercy of the persons running the business who know long before the rest of us about financial difficulties affecting the survival of their business and who, in many cases, were able to protect their personal assets.
These issues will continue to affect us all until the primary problem - which is our bankruptcy laws - are addressed and changed. Workers must be made secured creditors to place them at the front of the line when a bankruptcy is filed, giving them not only a voice but additional information about what transpired and how their lives were ultimately affected.
Milan Nick Dragojevic