DETROIT -- Auto parts supplier Tower Automotive Inc. is asking a U.S. bankruptcy judge to set a schedule to accept or reject its union contracts and modify retirement benefits.
But unlike the confrontation that has marked Delphi Corp.'s Chapter 11 saga, Tower and the UAW said they are optimistic that negotiations can lead to a mutually satisfactory settlement.
A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5 in New York.
Tower filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Feb. 2.
The supplier characterized the motion, which was filed on Dec. 6, as a procedural matter and said it has had talks with the UAW and other unions.
"It's not what you're used to seeing in Delphi," Sharon Wenzl, Tower's vice president of communications, told Automotive News.
UAW spokesman Roger Kerson said the union is taking a cooperative approach to the negotiations.
Calls to local union officials were not returned last week.
Tower CEO Kathleen Ligocki, in a statement e-mailed to Automotive News, said the company has a strong business plan, "but much to do early next year in negotiating with key constituencies to make the plan a reality."
The company needs to ensure that when it comes out of bankruptcy, it has a capital structure that "enhances our ability to compete aggressively in the marketplace," she wrote.