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‘We deserve them;’ Delphi retirees still fighting for pensions after 15 years

DAYTON — Five thousand people in Dayton are still waiting for their pensions 15 years after they say the government took them away.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Bill to restore lost Delphi retiree pensions reintroduced in Senate

The Delphi Salaried Retirees group has been trying for the last 15 years to get their benefits restored. The group is retired, salaried workers who put in 30, 40, and even 50 years for General Motors and Delphi. When GM first went bankrupt and then was bailed out in 2006, they say their pensions went up in smoke.

“We fight for our pensions because we earned them, we deserve them,” said Bruce Gump.

Gump is one of 5,000 Delphi white-collar workers in the same situation in Dayton and one of 20,000 across the Midwest.

>> RELATED: ‘Unjustly taken;’ Ohio lawmaker reintroducing bill to restore lost Delphi retiree pensions

“This is a problem that was created by government, it’s a problem that has to be fixed by government,” said Dayton Congressman Mike Turner.

Turner has fought for Delphi retirees for that entire 15 years.

For the first time ever, last year, the House of Representatives voted to approve restoring their pensions, but the Senate did not take action before the end of the year.

With a new congress, the process must start over. Turner and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown teamed up for the 2024 battle. Brown has also been working with Delphi retirees since 2009.

“President Biden has promised it, we hold him to his promise, we’re going to make sure we hold him to that promise, my job is to deliver in the Senate,” Brown said.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ohio lawmakers continue to fight to restore Delphi retirees’ pensions

“One of the things people get confused about, we are asking for a bailout, we are not said Mary Miller.

Miller told News Center 7 that the Obama Administration’s auto task force that negotiated the GM bankruptcy bailout decided to restore union workers’ pensions back in 2006 but not salaried employees’ pensions. Both were well-funded, not in debt.

The legislation to restore the pensions is called the Susan Muffley Act, after a retiree who died of cancer because without her pension she delayed seeking medical care too long.

“We earned it, we needed it, we counted on it and it has been stolen from us, and it was stolen by our government,” Miller said.

The legislation passed the House comfortably last year and is expected to again. Now both Brown and Turner are lobbying Senators to get the votes needed to pass there and they already have a pledge from President Biden to sign the bill if it comes to him.

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