DETROIT -- General Motors has agreed to offer buyouts to additional Delphi Corp. hourly workers to try to prevent a strike by Delphi's unions over demanded wage and head-count cuts.
GM, which relies on Delphi for about $14 billion annually in parts, is offering a $140,000 buyout to all hourly employees with more than 10 years of seniority and less than 26 years and $70,000 for employees with less than 10 years of seniority. For the buyout, the employees must be willing to forgo retirement health care insurance.
Delphi and the UAW announced the agreement separately late Friday afternoon.
The expanded buyout offers are subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval.
"We're pleased the agreement was made today," said GM spokeswoman Gina Proia. "We think it's an important step toward reaching a consensual agreement with Delphi and its unions."
GM also is offering an early retirement package to hourly employees with 26 years of seniority. Nearly 10,000 Delphi workers have taken an early retirement package offered to those with 27 years to 30 years. Those retirements would reduce Delphi's hourly work force from about 33,000 today to 23,000.
With plants closings and a restructuring of operations in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Delphi is expected to need only between 6,000 and 10,000 U.S. workers. The buyouts are aimed at softening the blow of wage and benefit cuts of 60 percent requested by Delphi.
As of Friday, 1,105 Delphi workers have been offered so-called "flow back" jobs at GM as a result of the buyout offers, the UAW said.
In a related development, Delphi's efforts to seek court approval to void its labor contracts have been postponed until Aug. 11. A UAW statement said the delay will "allow the company and its unions an opportunity to focus attention on bargaining without the distraction the current litigation has caused."
Delphi, of Troy, Mich., ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with estimated worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $24.10 billion in 2004, the latest year available.
Jamie LaReau and Philip Nussel contributed to this report
You may e-mail Dave Barkholz at [email protected]