USW International President Leo W. Gerard today released a letter transmitted by 13 Ohio congressional members and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to U.S. Secretary of Treasury Timothy F. Geithner. The letter urges simple justice’ with equity in financial support for the future medical and life insurance benefits of GM retirees represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) and two other unions.
Nearly 50,000 former employees of GM or Delphi and their dependents stand to lose most or all of their medical coverage in the GM bankruptcy proceedings.
The USW represents 6,200 retirees and surviving spouses, saying the present value of the lost benefits is at least $424 million. According to the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the lost benefits of 41,000 GM Delphi retirees and surviving spouses they represent are valued at $2.87 billion. Other Delphi retirees are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).
Gerard said, “Along with the CWA and IUOE, we have filed objections before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on behalf of the retirees and hope that our federal government will come to its senses on fairness for the former GM workers who contributed nothing less than the auto workers to the fortunes of the company.”
The Ohio congressional delegation’s letter emphatically stated to the treasury secretary: “In short, it is your representatives who have decided that these retirees will not have an opportunity for a decent retirement.”