Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan slammed President Barack Obama for the Auto Task Force’s treatment of nonunion workers who saw their pensions slashed by 70 percent, while their union coworkers lost no funds thanks to a $1 billion “top-off” by GM, during a rally in Sabina, Ohio, on Saturday.
“The president likes to go around Ohio talking about how he saved the auto industry, how the auto bailout was such a success. Tell you what: He hasn’t talked to these Oak Creek salaried employees, he hasn’t talked to these Ohio Delphi salaried employees, because this is one of those examples of the government picking winners and losers,” Ryan said.
Ryan took the stage after personally meeting with nine Delphi retirees. One of those retirees was Dayton resident Tom Rose, who spent 39 years with GM and Delphi as an engineer; it would have been an even 40 had he not taken a break to serve in Vietnam in 1971. Rose has seen his healthcare costs triple after losing his company medical coverage. He shared his story with Ryan in a 30-minute meeting held before the Sabina speech.
“What we tried to convey was extreme frustration we feel with all of the delays from the administration; he committed to helping fix this issue, to get information about what really happened,” he said, adding, “to have 30 minutes with a vice presidential candidate 10 days before the election was an honor.”
There are few members of Congress more familiar with Delphi’s plight than Rep. Ryan (R., Wisc.). The company shuttered two factories in his Wisconsin district during its five-year bankruptcy, which ended with the auto bailout in 2010.
Ryan also serves on the House Ways and Means committee, which is investigating the Treasury Department’s role in the decision to reduce nonunion pensions.
“Paul Ryan has a record in Congress on this issue, questioning [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner and trying to get the documents released from the administration,” said Rep. Michael Turner (R., Ohio), who attended the meeting with Ryan. “Documents are being released, and as they’re released, they’re substantiating what we’ve said all along: This was a political decision.”