The Main Street Bondholders Coalition, a project of the 60 Plus Association, hosted a press conference today following their legislative meetings on Capitol Hill to voice concerns over their exclusion from the GM bankruptcy negotiations and to push for a meeting with the Auto Task Force. For the past several weeks leading up to the bankruptcy decision, the Main Street Bondholder coalition held press events with small bondholders in Warren, MI, Philadelphia, PA, and Tampa, FL, to discuss the nationwide impact of the bankruptcy issue and to advocate for a fair and equitable solution for all parties. Thousands of seniors, retirees, and small bondholders have sent letters to Congress voicing their concerns.
“Following each rally, small bondholders from around the country would approach us wanting to get involved with the Main Street Bondholders, and we had some two dozen here this week,” 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin said. “From current seniors to working people still decades from retirement, these small bondholders came forward to join others like them to advocate for a seat at the negotiating table and to get the attention of the Auto Task Force. Average Americans are a part of GM, too, and the future of the corporation affects so many of them that they deserve the chance to have their voices heard about its fate,” Martin concluded.
About a quarter of all GM bondholders are average American citizens who invested in the Fortune 500 Company as part of their financial planning, for retirement, medical expenses, small businesses, and providing for their children’s college fund. Many of these small bondholders are relying on their stake in the company for future financial security and have the most to lose if GM turns to bankruptcy.
“I hope Senator Chris Dodd will use his leadership as Chair of the Senate Banking Committee to stand up for his constituents,” Joan Pryor, a retired antique dealer from Essex, Connecticut, said. “I hope Senator Dodd will intervene on behalf of us small bondholders from his state. Small bondholders want to be part of the negotiation process.”
Small bondholders fear that their retirement savings will disappear if GM enters bankruptcy proceedings. After recent gatherings of small bondholders, the 60 Plus Association received hundreds of emails from individuals worried about the possibility of bankruptcy for GM.
“Bankruptcy is not our only option, but it surely seems like the only option President Obama and GM want us to have,” Jim Graves, a former GM employee from Celebration, Florida said. “In my personal analysis, I just do not see how a contentious and protracted bankruptcy would be better for GM or the American people than reaching a reasonable agreement with the bondholders. I wish the White House would take small bondholders and our lives into consideration, the way they’re taking United Auto Workers into consideration. We’re a part of GM too.”
Main Street Bondholders, a project of the 60 Plus Association, is a nationwide coalition of GM small bondholders. For more information, visit: www.MainStreetBondholders.com. To find out more on how to connect with the small bondholders, please contact Media@MainStreetBondholders.com.