DETROIT -- Delphi Corp. on Friday agreed to continue talks with the UAW and General Motors rather than ask a judge to terminate its labor agreements in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Delphi is extending the deadline to reach an accord until no later than March 30. The deadline was set to lapse Friday.
Delphi has asked its 34,000 hourly workers for wage and benefit cuts of as much as 60 percent to become competitive in the United States. The Troy, Mich., auto supplier said it will ask the bankruptcy court to terminate its labor contracts if the unions cannot agree to cuts.
The talks are complex, because Delphi's former parent, General Motors, is being asked to pay for part of the plan, either through worker buyouts or provisions for Delphi hourly workers to flow back to the automaker.
"As we have said before, we remain committed to reaching a consensual agreement," said Delphi CEO Steve Miller in a statement issued Friday morning. "This deadline should provide us sufficient time to deal with the complexities inherent in fashioning practical and workable solutions."
The UAW, which represents 25,000 of Delphi's 34,000 active union workers, said it might strike Delphi if the company filed to terminate its labor accords in bankruptcy court. A strike would shut GM assembly plants in a few days.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the extension of the talks "provides the opportunity for that process to work and is certainly a positive action."
In a statement, General Motors said it "continues to work constructively in the court proceedings with Delphi, its unions, and other participants in Delphi's restructuring process. GM's goal is to pursue outcomes that are in the best interests of GM and its stockholders, and that enable Delphi to continue as an important supplier to GM."
Delphi Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with estimated worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $24.1 billion in 2004.
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