Unions and city retirees protest, appealing after bankruptcy rul - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

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.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:17:30 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


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

  • Funeral today for Armada teen, April Millsap

    Funeral today for Armada teen, April Millsap

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:49 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:49:48 GMT
    Family and friends of a 14-year-old Michigan girl are to gather for her funeral as investigators continue hunting for her killer.ice...
    Family and friends of a 14-year-old Michigan girl are to gather for her funeral as investigators continue hunting for her killer.ice...
  • When is it appropriate for police to use a taser? Video prompts questions about police action in Clinton Township

    When is it appropriate for police to use a taser? Video prompts questions about police action in Clinton Township

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:38:12 GMT
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
  • Murder hearing for couple whose dogs killed runner

    Murder hearing for couple whose dogs killed runner

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:19 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:19:29 GMT
     A couple whose two dogs fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger have been charged with second-degree murder.
     A couple whose two dogs fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger have been charged with second-degree murder.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

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