Once a bastion of post-retirement perks, in the past decade the auto industry and its golden-aged alumni have taken a fair share of lumps. In a decision on Dec. 10, a federal court ruled the reorganized General Motors no longer has an obligation to pay out health benefits it had promised to a subsidiary.
The suit came in 2010, when the group United Auto Workers (UAW) suited the just-then reorganized GM for $450 million payments to cover medical benefits for Delphi Corp. The plaintiffs charged that a pact formed in 2007 was still viable. GM had agreed at that time that it would add money to the Voluntary Employee Benefits Association which would give healthcare to retired Dephi workers.