Unions and city retirees protest, appealing after bankruptcy rul - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:21 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:21:36 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...
  • How to handle a dog attack

    How to handle a dog attack

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:48:45 GMT
    After a 46-year-old jogger was killed in a dog attack, a local expert gives advise on what to do if you're attacked by a dog.
    After a 46-year-old jogger was killed in a dog attack, a local expert gives advise on what to do if you're attacked by a dog.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


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

  • Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:25:26 GMT
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

  • Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:37:16 GMT
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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