Opinion: Joe Biden didn't do anything for Delphi workers' pensions

Bruce Gump

President Donald Trump recently announced his commitment to supporting the nearly 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees whose pensions were terminated in 2009 as part of a taxpayer-funded bailout of General Motors. Some of us lost up to 70% of our retirement benefits when trusteeship was transferred to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp under the Obama-Biden administration.

Trump’s commitment to supporting myself, and the almost 20,000 hardworking Americans in our quest to make things right, is a stark contrast to the failure of Joe Biden to address this issue. Biden simply didn’t care.

Biden has had 11 years, seven while in office, to do something, anything, to help Delphi workers, Gump writes.

I met Biden when he ran for a second term. He came to town as a fundraiser draw for another fellow Democrat. It cost a lot to get in, but it was the only way to be able to say anything meaningful to him about the plight of the Delphi salaried retirees and ask for support to correct the issue. My wife and I decided to withdraw the necessary money from our retirement account to take advantage of the opportunity.

I went hoping to get a minute or two and was prepared with a very short statement and request. Vice President Biden had already been on the news acknowledging the fact that “we (the Obama/Biden administration) were able to protect the hourly workers. Some salaried workers got hurt …” so I knew he was already aware of our plight.

Whenever the cameras are on, Biden comes across as everybody’s grandfather; concerned, kindly, wise, honest, tough. But in this situation, there was no press nearby, only other people who wanted a chance to get close to him and perhaps be recognized by him; people who already supported him. 

The Secret Service guided me to the vice president and I introduced myself as a Delphi salaried retiree. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get anything else out because he immediately reacted with a big smile and he said “Oh boy, you guys really got screwed! Here, take a picture with me.” I thought to myself, “What an arrogant jerk!”

What he had just done was to reveal that he knew the 20,000 salaried workers had lost all health care and life insurance plus up to 70% of their pensions in the Obama/Biden orchestrated bailout of GM, and he just didn’t care. The salaried workers had served as technicians, customer service representatives, estimators, schedulers, secretaries, engineers, front line supervisors, and performed hundreds of other jobs that made the company function.

Previously I had written a letter to the president asking to meet with him to discuss the harm terminating our pension plan would do to us and our families, and to our communities across the nation wherever Delphi had a facility. The White House Scheduling Office called me to say that our group wasn’t important enough to meet with the president, or the vice president. They just didn’t care.

Since the battle to regain our pensions began, I have met with many people in Washington. Nearly all really do care and want to fix the unfair and unjust treatment of the salaried retirees from Delphi — both Democrats and Republicans, representatives and senators agree on that. But the leadership at the top just didn’t care, and that was a very sad lesson to learn.

When Biden came through Alliance, Ohio on a train tour after the first debate and said he would do everything he could to “bring in the salaried workers,” it just had a hollow and false ring to it. I would really like that, but I doubt it will happen because he has had 11 years, seven while in office, to do something, anything, to help us. He just didn’t care.

Some politicians feel they have just one job — to get re-elected. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt as long as they get an advantage in the next election. In my experience, Joe Biden is that kind of politician. 

I simply have to warn everybody about my experience with Biden. If he can do it to us; he can do it to you, too! He will if he thinks there is an advantage in the next election.

Please prove the statement you made in Alliance, Mr. Biden, by offering a real plan to fix the damage done.

Bruce Gump is vice chairman of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association.