POLITICS

Anti-Romney steel worker was offered a buyout

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering

Former steel worker Joe Soptic, who was prominently featured in President Obama's new anti-Romney ad, is actually a familiar face on the anti-Bain beat.

In January, Soptic complained to Democracy Now, a liberal non-profit TV station, that when the steel company he worked for was bought out, they tried to buy him out.

"I guess the first thing I noticed that when the company was bought out by GST, They became very union non-friendly, they started looking for ways to eliminate jobs," Soptic said.

"In my case in my department, they actually offered to buy our jobs out from underneath us," Soptic said.

Why is Soptic upset? Primarily, its because his pension was cut. In this interview, Soptic clarified that his 401k was not affected but he lost $400 a month from his pension.

But in a January 2012 Reuters story, Soptic reportedly said that he only lost $283 per month from his pension.

Soptic also explained to Reuters that he took a school janitor job, with a starting salary of $24,000, and did not have a health insurance plan that covered his wife. His wife, died of advanced lung cancer that was discovered after she went to the hospital for pneumonia.

"My wife had to quit working, and we didn't have any health insurance for her. . . and I couldn't afford health insurance for her," Soptic told Democracy Now, adding that he had to liquidate his 401K to pay the hospital bills after her death.

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