Unions and city retirees protest, appealing after bankruptcy rul - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Unions and city retirees protest, appealing after bankruptcy ruling

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

Judge Rhodes ruled Tuesday Detroit is eligible to fix its finances in bankruptcy court. This is just the first phase of what will be a long process to resolve the financial issues.

Fox 2's Amy Lange spoke with union representatives and city retirees who voiced their concerns about the ruling.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch Lange's report or read it below
_______________________

"What do we want? Justice!"

Marching in the street outside federal court - inside, Judge Steven Rhodes reading an exhaustive summary of his 140-page ruling.

Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy.

In fact, with 18 billion dollars in debt and 100 thousand creditors he says it was a forgone conclusion, and should have happened years ago.

"I think this is a very scary day because what the judge has done here, is he's said a state constitution, that's specifically and expressly protects vested pension benefits, can be taken away in bankruptcy. And that's very scary," says Sharon Levine, an attorney for AFSCME.

She's filing an appeal, fighting for the unions and retirees who stand to lose so much in this fight. Judge Rhodes ruling that pensions are not protected in bankruptcy.

"This is a death sentence for 23 thousand retirees if he allows the pensions to be cut, as they said, 16 percent on the dollar," says David Sole from the Stop Theft of our Pensions Committee.

"That ruling is so hurtful my heart just dropped. That's the worst thing that I could have heard ever because it's not going to just hurt me, my husband - but so many other pensioners," says Angles Hunt.

She's devastated by the judge's ruling that pensions - their pensions, 19 thousand dollars a year - can be cut.

"We worked 30, 40 years - some more than that - and it's not fair to us who worked, who supported this city, who still lives here, and they going to do that to us? They don't care about the people," Hunt adds.

"Some of them for example, retired police officers, don't have the benefit of social security. So therefore their pension is what they rely upon, and how are they going to maintain a quality of life?" says Keith Johnson of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

Judge Rhodes did urge the emergency manager to negotiate with the pensioners before the court approves any plan of adjustment. Rhodes also finding that the city did not negotiate in good faith, but in the next breath saying it was impossible to do so with 100 thousand creditors. So now negotiations and the bankruptcy process move forward.

"The bargaining process continues to go on and we will continue to bargain at this particular point," promises Ed McNeil of the AFSCME Council 25.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:05:54 GMT
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices