WASHINGTON -- Prospects are dim that labor disputes with large suppliers in Chapter 11 reorganization will end satisfactorily, UAW leaders said last week.
"It probably will be impossible to avoid a long strike" at Delphi Corp. if a bankruptcy court imposes contract terms, said UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker. "This is a tough situation."
At Tower Automotive Inc., where unions already have voted for a strike, the management position has been hardening, said UAW Vice President Bob King.
"We're not afraid" of a strike, said King, who directs the UAW's supplier department. The UAW represents about 25,000 of Delphi's 34,000 union workers in the United States.
The two delivered the tough talk to more than 1,500 UAW activists who gathered in Washington for the UAW's legislative convention, known as the CAP conference, for Community Action Program.
One of their objectives was to rally the troops. Attendees were encouraged to go to congressional offices and seek changes in federal bankruptcy law, as well as pursue other union agenda items.