Group representing Chrysler’s retired salaried workers ask for appointment of committee

Chrysler salaried retirees ask for committee

NEW YORK — A group representing Chrysler’s retired salaried workers is asking the judge overseeing the automaker’s Chapter 11 proceedings to appoint an official committee of retirees, citing concerns about the future of their benefits.

The National Chrysler Retirement Organization, which represents more than 16,000 Chrysler retirees and surviving spouses, claims in its motion that it has been left out of negotiations with the automaker.

The group claims that under Chrysler’s current reorganization plan, the retirement benefits of salaried retirees would not transfer to the new company that’s expected to be created by the sale of most of Chrysler’s assets to Italy’s Fiat Group SpA.

At the same time, retirement benefits for the automaker’s unionized workers are expected to be protected under the new company, the group said.

But Chrysler filed an objection to the motion, calling it a “backdoor attack” to the automaker’s sale plan, adding that it hasn’t made any attempt to modify or terminate the retirees benefits.

As a result, Chrysler said the group doesn’t have grounds to ask for a committee be formed and that doing so would create unnecessary costs.

U.S. Judge Arthur Gonzales will consider the retiree group’s motion at a hearing Thursday in New York.

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