By David Barkholz
Detroit, Michigan -- Delphi Corp. has announced that 6300 hourly employees represented by IUE-CWA (International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers - Communications Workers of America), or 83 percent of those eligible, have agreed to early retirement or a buyout.
The attrition program, financed predominantly by General Motors (GM), continues to relieve pressure for a strike at Delphi.
Earlier this summer, the UAW union said nearly 13 000 of its Delphi members had taken a buyout or early retirement, with an additional 5000 expected to transfer eventually to GM.
Delphi is restructuring its US operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The company, spun off by GM in 1999, has asked the US Bankruptcy Court in New York to end its labour agreements with about 33 000 union workers because their pay was about twice what Delphi's US competitors pay.
On 17 Aug, a hearing on the petition was delayed until 18 Sep as Delphi, GM and the unions try to negotiate new agreements.
UAW and IUE-CWA have promised to strike if the court terminated the contracts.
A strike at Delphi, which supplies GM with about $1400 million in parts annually, would quickly shut down the automaker.
But the impetus for a strike is evaporating.
Only about 9000 union workers who started working at Delphi before the company filed for Chapter 11 protection will be left at the company a year from now.
That is about the number the supplier will need to operate the eight plants it intends to keep open in the US as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy in 2007.
Delphi plans to close or sell 21 US plants and produce most of its parts outside the country.
Delphi, based in Troy, Michigan, is ranked fourth on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with estimated original-equipment automotive parts sales of about $2258 million in 2005.
From Automotive News (A Crain publication)