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Studebaker and pensions

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  • Studebaker and pensions

    I'm curious about how the pensions worked out for workers at the end of production. I've heard that most (all?) plant workers in South Bend got cheated, and that led to the ERISA llegislation, but what happened with the workers in Canada? After the plant closed in 1966 did those workers get pensions? Maybe I should include the men that were working for SASCO when it closed in 1972. How did they end up? I'm also wondering how Burlingame came out of it. Did he have a pension, or did he just get a some lump sum when he retired, or did he make money on Studebaker stock somehow?

    There is some good reading on this here: http://www.law.ubalt.edu/faculty/syl...kerpackard.pdf
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  • #2
    I posted that same link before: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ighlight=erisa

    Craig

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
      I posted that same link before: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ighlight=erisa

      Craig
      Sorry. I didn't check this time.
      "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

      Comment


      • #4
        I guess I would disagree with the word "cheated". Studebaker, like many companies at that time, did not have a fully-funded pension plan for its hourly workers -- but did have a plan to provide the needed funds over a period of years. Unfortunately for all concerned, the company went out of the vehicle business before that was achieved. The termination of Stude's pension program was one of the triggers for the passage of the ERISA and the creation of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
        Skip Lackie

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
          I guess I would disagree with the word "cheated". Studebaker, like many companies at that time, did not have a fully-funded pension plan for its hourly workers -- but did have a plan to provide the needed funds over a period of years. Unfortunately for all concerned, the company went out of the vehicle business before that was achieved. The termination of Stude's pension program was one of the triggers for the passage of the ERISA and the creation of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
          I suspect the reason 'cheated' was used, is because the parent Studebaker Corporation never went out of business, and went on making money long after the automotive division ceased operations. Like GM's 'organized bankruptcy' in 2009, it will be forever debated whether the workers were 'cheated out of the pensions' or not.

          Craig

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          • #6
            Probably depends on whether one is looking at the issue from the point of view of the corporation/stock holders, or from the point of view of the pensioners.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
              Probably depends on whether one is looking at the issue from the point of view of the corporation/stock holders, or from the point of view of the pensioners.
              I suppose that's true! Does anyone know about the pensions for the Canadian workers and the SASCO workers?
              "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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              • #8
                depends on if the employees signed up with pension benefits offered....
                If I was offered pension benefits and were later denied to no fault of my own, that would be cheated...

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                • #9
                  Talking to one Studebaker worker who had 43 years on got $84 a month in pension after closing in 1963. Hardly a fortune and he said it was all the Unions and insurance company's fault and said that Studebaker was trying to rectify things. Don't know if he's right or not but employees were well compensated while working earning 13 percent more an hour than the big three. He also said in I believe it was 1949 Studebaker employees were making $1.12 an hour while Oliver was making .88 and the next year he worked in the press room which was piece rate and got $3.50 making it the best paying job around.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                    Probably depends on whether one is looking at the issue from the point of view of the corporation/stock holders, or from the point of view of the pensioners.
                    Agreed. The corporation's responsibility is to protect the equity of the stockholders, and they do that best by staying in business. Whether the employees think it's fair or not, including the cost of future payments into a pension fund is always gonna be included in the calculation.

                    However, the GM bankruptcy seemed to work in reverse -- it protected nearly all of the employees, but the stockholders lost all of their equity.
                    Skip Lackie

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                    • #11
                      A neighbour stopped by when he saw my cars, He told me that he had worked for Studebaker in Hamilton for the last 3 years and still gets a pension of $59 per year!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stephenj View Post
                        A neighbour stopped by when he saw my cars, He told me that he had worked for Studebaker in Hamilton for the last 3 years and still gets a pension of $59 per year!
                        Maybe I should not be surprised, but I am!
                        "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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