The tentative agreement between Delphi Automotive Systems and the UAW gives workers at the parts supplier three more months to mull retirement.
When Delphi split from General Motors earlier this year, workers kept essentially the same set of work rules. But one change worked out in the spin-off said pensions for Delphi workers are to be administered by Delphi. Workers who wanted to retire with a GM pension had until Oct. 1.
With a three-month extension of the retirement deadline, Delphi can at least slow the revolving door that union and company officials have said would see up to 10 percent of Delphi's 59,000 workers retire this year.
The tentative contract also will allow Delphi workers to put in for transfer to GM jobs as they open.
The four-year agreements with GM and Delphi give UAW members at both companies:
A $1,350 signing bonus.
Annual raises of 3 percent.
Year-end bonuses of $600.
The possibility of having a pension funded by Delphi left many workers at the parts maker nervous. While pensions guaranteed by GM had a sense of permanence, a new administrator introduced uncertainty. Delphi, moving to quell concerns, pumped $600 million into its pension fund.
'UAW workers feel like they've been kicked out the door,' said Steve Jurik, president of UAW Local 699 at the Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems plant in Saginaw, Mich. 'They worked for GM and they want to retire under GM.'
But under the terms of the tentative agreement, Delphi workers now have until the end of the year to make the decision to retire on a GM-funded pension. At the Saginaw plant, 500 workers had been set to retire last Friday, Oct. 1. But many have reconsidered and are waiting to see if the tentative agreement is ratified, Jurik said.
Delphi spokesman Steve Gaut declined to comment on the change.
With the extended deadline, workers who qualify for retirement can sign the new contract, take the $1,350 signing bonus and still retire by Dec. 31, Jurik said.
Bloomberg News Service con tributed to this report