WASHINGTON — Obama’s promise to keep an eye out for Detroit is ringing hollow, yet the liberal mainstream media fails to report on this broken promise. Now, the Detroit unions are launching last-ditch efforts to stop the city’s bankruptcy proceedings, calling it “unconstitutional” and violating their “rights” to pensions.
Reuters reports the Detroit unions are holding out on a last-ditch effort to have the bankruptcy courts side with them, primarily the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who is leading the charge.
Detroit, which has been a Democratic Party stronghold since the 1950’s, filed for bankruptcy on July 18th of this year and set off a political firestorm and debate. The city is suffering with bloated pensions and debt of up to $18.5 billion and lost its tax base of over 1.8 million in the 1950’s to 700,000 today. Many of the city’s utilities are not working and the police force takes an average of about an hour to reach its residents who call 911.
It also does not help that the majority of Detroit-area workers are poorly trained and have “subpar” skills, which is something that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, are trying to resolve.
The unions, who see their pensions being one of the primary cost-cutting measures, are claiming that bankruptcy proceedings violate their union members’ constitutional rights to have a pension. This argument will not fly in the courts, some believe, as bankruptcies have swept the country during the recent recession and slow economic recovery.
Cities like Stockton and Mammoth Lakes in California have declared bankruptcy, but Detroit is the largest city bankruptcy case in American history.
Chapter 9 bankruptcy entails that any city has to prove it negotiated in good faith with creditors and that it is insolvent, which is mostly likely to be proven in court.