Chrysler Retirees Face the Big B

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chrysler retirees face the big b

The Detroit News reports that 150 Chrysler white collar retirees attended the first meeting of the National Chrysler Retirement Organization. The meeting comes days after GM announced retiree health care cuts, and a month after Chrysler cut life insurance to its former workers. "Chrysler workers were promised these benefits and counted on them when they retired, especially if they took an early retirement," said Chuck Austin, the org's president pro tem. "For them now to change their minds anytime they'd like — it's not right." The organization has sent letters to Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli and Nancy Rae, executive vice president for human resources and communications, asking for benefit guarantees. Meanwhile, the group is looking into legal redress. "We need to make sure that the pension fund is 100 percent secured," says former Chrysler human resources staffer Nancy Furman. "If we are losing our benefits, seeing our 401(k)s drop and living longer, we need to make sure every penny counts." The group's also asking Chrysler to follow GM's lead and freeze executive salary raises and bonuses. Unfortunately, when (or if you prefer, if) Chrysler goes C11, these retirees will have little legal recourse. Yet another reason to bemoan, not celebrate, Chrysler's ignominious decline.

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  • AnswerMan AnswerMan on Jul 18, 2008

    The Germans raped this company and ruined it's product. I worked there for most of my career and I can't believe my eyes. I hope they make it. Chrysler is a great company with a wonderful story and history. I feel for the people who are there now.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 19, 2008
    Hey, hey, don’t worry about it! The brilliant MBAs who run the world have made sure that Bob Nardelli and all the corporate raiders will be well insulated from any of the negative effects of a bankruptcy. Now, the thousands of hard working men and women that they’ll be depriving of an income don’t really have any protection whatsoever, but at least the millionaires club won’t suffer. Huzzah for capitalism!.... I say seize the robber barons' assets and distribute them to the people who deserve them - those who were working with the idea that these benefits were part of their compensation. Let Nardelli see what it is like to work for minimum wage at 70 years of age. It is sad to think of those who did the right thing and planned their retirement properly only to see some bloodsucker who already has enough riches for 20 lifetimes drain all their hope of a comfortable retirement into the crapper. No doubt these parasites have all their property in Florida or Texas...

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Jul 19, 2008

    Put the blame where it belongs. I think Answerman has it right. Pity that Cerberus was stupid enough to buy Chrylser. It would have been fitting to have Daimler taking the current losses as well as having the pension liabilities.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jul 20, 2008

    golden, Anyone who put their faith in a single source of income provided as fruits of a union contract with a company dependent on union labor in a state that allows the union to put the company out of business did not "do the right thing" nor plan their retirement properly. It really sucks that these people are going to lose money, but if you want to punish management you should punish union leadership right along with them because it was a conspiracy all along. Heck, while you are at it, drag the educators in there who gave these folks degrees without teaching them that THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES (excepting death and taxes, of course).