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Ohio lawmakers continue to fight to restore Delphi retirees’ pensions

DAYTON — Thousands of Dayton area workers living without their pension are watching time run out on the chance of getting their money back.

There are 2,000 salaried, retired Delphi workers in the Dayton area and they’re to get their pensions back. Hundreds of those retired workers joined together two weeks ago for a rally at Sinclair College to gain support for the Susan Muffley Act.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton), would restore the full vested monthly benefits for eligible workers. Its part of what has been a 13-year-long journey that started when retired salary workers had their health insurance dropped and 70 percent of their pensions slashed as part of the GM bankruptcy.

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“They has theses benefits wrongly taken from them and we need to make sure that they are restored,” Turner said.

20,000 workers formed the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association and have fought for years. This summer, the bill passed in the House. Now, they’re trying to get the Senate to pass the legislation.

“This is a ‘pass this bill this year’ type of emergency. We’ve got it out of the House and the President has agreed to sign this,” Turner told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who’s behind the bill with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), said the he’s going to “keep fighting on the floor of the Senate” to make sure the workers get their pensions.

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“So we are going to continue to fight for this. These are pensions for workers. These are management, middle-level income; these are not rich executives,” Brown said.

Turner said he believes Republican senators are reluctant to authorize any more spending because of all the bills passed this year. Still, he pointed out that this was not a case of a mismanaged or underfunded pension fund that is asking for a handout.

“This is actually a case where the court, under the Obama Administration, took these pensions from the salaried retirees,” Turner said.

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