Published: Saturday, November 4, 2006
Workers who took buyouts can get aid
WASHINGTON, D.C. The more than 3,000 Delphi Packard Electric employees who recently took buyouts to leave their jobs will be eligible for federal financial assistance.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, said Friday evening that the U.S. Department of Labor said the workers will be eligible to apply for benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Until now, it was uncertain whether those workers who took buyouts would be considered to have left their jobs voluntarily, thus making them ineligible for federal benefits. The benefits are paid to workers who lose jobs due to foreign competition.
"This is very welcome news for the thousands of individuals in our area who've had to face the challenge of losing a job," Ryan said.
The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor initiated an investigation at the request of International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers Communications Workers of America, Local 717, which represents the workers.
The investigation found that Delphi lost business, in part, because of increased imports of connections and wiring systems products. In addition, a significant number of the affected Delphi workers are age 50 and over and "do not possess skills that are easily transferable" to other industries.
The labor department ruled that anyone who lost their jobs at Delphi between July, 26, 2005, and two years from now can apply for assistance.