DETROIT -- Delphi Corp. has worked out a deal with the UAW that lets the supplier close its unprofitable Flint West plant in Michigan.
Delphi spokesman Brad Jackson said last week that generator production had ceased, but fuel filter production was continuing into August. He did not have a plant closing date.
"The Flint West UAW Local 659 workers have been offered employment options," he said. Those include transfers to Delphi's Flint East and other plants and early retirement pay incentives.
GM spun off Delphi in 1999. Under terms of that agreement, Delphi can transfer some workers back to GM.
Flint West's closing is part of Delphi's plan to phase out low-margin commodity products. The company will focus on more profitable high-tech components such as diesel fuel-injection systems and telematics hardware.
Flint West has about 470 hourly workers. Flint East, which has about 2,650 workers, makes spark plugs and filters - also unprofitable products. But Delphi has said the product mix there could change.
Delphi has said it also wants to consolidate its Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant into Lockport, N.Y.; its Olathe, Kan., plant into Fitzgerald, Ga.; and its Anaheim, Calif., plant primarily into New Brunswick, N.J.
All the plants, including the two in Flint, are part of Delphi's unit of money-losing businesses, called the Automotive Holdings Group. The company has vowed to fix, close or sell the 16 plants in the group.
The UAW vowed in November to fight the Flint plant closing. Under Delphi's national agreement with the UAW, the company cannot close plants without the union's approval.
"We're disappointed to see that site cease its operations," said Duane Zuckschwerdt, assistant director of UAW Region 1C, which includes the Flint plants. "But we negotiated some incentive packages and placement of the folks to make the event less traumatic. We'll continue to try to find some work to put into that facility, whether a Delphi operation or an independent parts supplier."
Delphi offered early retirement or transfer incentives to the Local 659 workers that range from $12,500 to $89,000, Zuckschwerdt said.
By allowing the plant closing, he said, the UAW helped Delphi East. He said Delphi will maintain at least 3,000 jobs there and bring in work.