WARREN - In its latest attempt to bring attention to the loss of a significant amount of pension funds, a group of Delphi salaried retirees is circulating a petition electronically that it intends to forward to members of the Barack Obama administration and other elected officials.
About 1,500 Delphi salaried retirees from the Youngstown-Warren area and about 22,000 nationwide lost up to 70 percent of their pensions during the U.S. Treasury Department's reorganization and recovery of the American auto industry. The salaried retirees are the only large group of former employees whose pensions were not protected.
Pension funds for hourly retirees, for example, were made whole by federal funds following Delphi's bankruptcy filing. The salaried retirees' benefits, however, were turned over to the Pension Benefit and Guaranty Corp. which ultimately reduced the pensions by about 70 percent.
The online petition has been initiated to garner national attention and support. Petition spokesman Joe Musick, a retiree from Warren who worked about 30 years for Delphi, declined to say how many signatures the group has gathered since the nationwide petition drive kicked off Friday, but described it as going "very well, particularly in the swing states for the presidential election.''
''We are hoping that this might make a difference. We have been fighting this struggle for over three years, and the truth of the matter is our issue isn't a political issue. It's an issue of right and wrong,'' Musick said.
The petition will be submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department, the Auto Task Force, members of Congress and the Obama administration. It may be signed at www.DelphiPetition.com.