DETROIT -- Seething UAW dissidents plan to teach workers how to slow or halt production at Delphi Corp.
The union's so-called Soldiers of Solidarity will bring together hourly workers on Jan. 20, said Gregg Shotwell, a leader of the group. The employees will learn "work to rule" techniques and discuss where to pinch Delphi production, he said.
The meeting will occur at a site yet to be determined.
When employees "work to rule," they require a company to adhere to the letter of its labor contract and all government workplace regulations governing line speed, quality standards, safety rules and machine maintenance. The result is slower production.
The dissidents also plan to picket the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 8, the show's first media day.
Shotwell said time is running out for a negotiated settlement between Delphi and its six unions. Delphi CEO Steve Miller has given the unions until Jan. 20, to accept concessions. If the union doesn't agree he plans to ask U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain to terminate the supplier's labor contracts.
Delphi put its U.S. operations in Chapter 11 reorganization on Oct. 8.
Since Nov. 6, the dissidents have held public meetings in Kokomo, Ind.; St. Louis; and three Michigan cities: Grand Rapids, Flint and Bay City. The meetings were open to all union members and retirees.
Two more public meetings are planned. They are Jan. 8, in Lockport, N.Y., and Jan. 15 in Milwaukee.
The next phase of the campaign will prepare active Delphi workers for direct action, Shotwell said.
The dissidents hope their actions will convince General Motors to help Delphi.
A strike of the supplier would hamper the automaker's production because Delphi is the sole supplier of thousands of GM parts.
Assistance could come in the form of buyouts for Delphi workers or transfer of Delphi hourly workers to GM plants.
GM has reported no supply interruptions since the Chapter 11 filing.
In its latest proposal, Delphi demanded a cut in UAW hourly wages from an average of $27 an hour to $12.50. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger last week called the proposal "obscene."
Delphi has 34,000 hourly workers in the United States, including 25,000 UAW members.
You may e-mail Dave Barkholz at [email protected]