Dear Fellow Chrysler Salaried Retiree:
Just when you thought your TV, newspapers, phone, laptop and mailbox might ease up on delivering the noise of the quadrennial presidential political season, and with all of the media attention now on the fortunes of Mitt, Rick, Newt, and Ron (and Barack); there is another political battle that must be joined. It may lack the drama, emotion and certainly the visibility of the presidential campaign, but for those of us who once worked on Chrysler’s products and programs, it is as important around our kitchen tables as any issue debated by the candidates. Simply stated, this is the battle to protect and preserve your Chrysler salaried pension and the related retiree benefits – the retirement program which you were promised, to which you are entitled, and now may need more than ever.
The National Chrysler Retirement Organization (NCRO) was organized by talented former Chrysler employees just in time to keep our pension program intact – as Daimler left, Cerberus came, and ultimately gave way to bankruptcy, government rescue, and Fiat – from the fate that befell our Delphi colleagues. In league with the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN), the NCRO leadership fought in law offices, courtrooms, at the Auburn Hills headquarters and in the halls of Congress to make certain that our future well-being as retirees was a part of Chrysler’s future as a recovering, reorganized company.
Now, in 2012, with one-third of the U.S. Senate and the entire House of Representatives (many in new districts) up for election in this presidential year, the political priorities of Chrysler and other salaried retirees must be put back on the national agenda. Only we can make that happen, from the grassroots level.
And what are those priorities? Pension asset protection, reform of the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation, bankruptcy reform, retiree protection in mergers and acquisitions, protection of retiree health care, Social Security and Medicare proposals head the 2012 list. These are nothing less than fundamental components of our survival and well-being.
This is not a partisan agenda in the Democratic or Republican sense. (The NRLN and NCRO do not endorse candidates or parties.) It is partisan in the Chrysler salaried retiree sense, in the way that driving and recommending Chrysler products is.
What does the NCRO need from you? You do not have to be the next Karl Rove or James Carville. We need you to be interested in retiree issues and be willing to push your legislators for their support. You may already be discussing these issues with fellow retirees and former colleagues with whom you are still in touch. We need you to meet with your legislators and their staff members at local district offices, at their Town Hall meetings, “coffee hours” that most representatives hold and in Washington by joining with other NCRO and NRLN members at legislative conferences in Washington.
The NCRO will work with you and will see that you are briefed in more detail on the salaried retiree political and legislative agenda. You can see the 2012 Legislative Agenda key issue talking points on NRLN website at http://www.ncro.org/nrlninfo/nrlninfo.htm.
In addition to the NRLN Agenda we support the passage of HR1322 that guarantees continuation of retiree health care benefits. You can learn more about HR1322 on Protect Seniors website at http://www.protectseniors.org. To receive the appropriate briefing information, contact the NCRO at the firstname.lastname@example.org or at (248)633-2827.
How will you benefit? Well, you will experience the stimulation and thrill of participation in the political and governmental process (without the rubber chicken dinners, media events, and fundraising phone calls) while working directly on initiatives that will have tangible benefits for you. Once you’ve met with your representative, let us know how it went.
This is a very important time in our efforts to protect our pensions and benefits. We ask you to join with us in this effort. If you need assistance with understanding the issues and/or with how to contact your representatives let us know and we will assist you. It is time for all of us to get involved…
Jay Kuhnie- President