NEW YORK -- General Motors and the United Auto Workers union are discussing the possibility of the carmaker offering buyouts to older workers at Delphi Corp., the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Bankrupt auto parts maker Delphi has asked for steep wage and benefit concessions from the UAW, but leaders of the union have warned that the company could face a potentially-crippling strike if it tries to force the measures through.
A deal between GM, which is liable for some pension and health-care obligations for former GM workers now employed by Delphi, and the UAW could help reduce the threat of a strike, the newspaper said.
Citing people familiar with the talks, the newspaper said that any buyout would depend on the carmaker receiving assurances that Delphi's 34,500 UAW workers would not strike to protest the wage cuts proposed by Delphi management.
The auto parts maker, which was spun-off from GM in 1999, has indicated that it wants to slash UAW wages of $27.50 an hour to as little as $10 an hour.
GM and the UAW are also discussing the size of the carmaker's liability to Delphi's workers and retirees. It said that GM has estimated its liability to Delphi anywhere between nothing and $12 billion.
Last year, GM bought more than $15 billion in parts from Delphi. Delphi ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $24.1 billion in 2004.
GM -- struggling with its own high health care and commodity costs, stalled sales of SUVs and loss of U.S. market share to foreign competitors -- is looking to avert additional pressure which would be caused by a strike at Delphi.