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Union: Detroit Restructuring Plan 'A Gut Punch To City Workers And Retirees'

DETROIT (WWJ) - Now that Detroit's emergency manager has laid out a plan for bankruptcy, city retirees are getting a look of what their future might include: big cuts to both their pensions and health insurance funds.

Life insurance and death benefits would be completely be removed under this new plan.

In a statement out shortly after Kevyn Orr's 120-page plan was made public Friday, AFSCME Council 25 President Al Garrett issued a statement saying retired cannot survive what he calls drastic cuts.

"The proposed plan of adjustment is a gut punch to Detroit city workers and retirees. The plan essentially eliminates health care benefits for retirees and drastically cuts earned pension benefits. Retires cannot survive these huge cuts to the pensions they earned. The plan is unfair and unacceptable," Garrett said.

"Every step of the way, Governor Snyder has put his political agenda ahead of the folks that worked hard for the city. If Snyder wants to avoid devastating Detroit families, he should offer real solutions instead of unleashing bankruptcy attorneys on retirees," he said.

Garrett said AFSCME will fight "for a more just result," continuing efforts in the courts.

Attorney for the pensioners, Ryan Plecha, said there is room for optimism despite the devastating news.

"We are hopeful that the plan can be improved through the mediation process," he told WWJ's Russ McNamara. "But that the cuts proposed in the plan are quite drastic, and they will have a severe impact on, not only the retirees, but the communities they live in."

Plecha said the release of Orr's plan creates a new environment to negotiated and mediate in good faith on a better plan that is less harmful to retirees.

MORE: Detroit Files Plan To Fix Debt, Leave Bankruptcy

Detroit Bankruptcy: Complete Coverage

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