Delphi Corp. is on a hiring binge at its 29 U.S. plants to replace hourly workers taking retirement under a buyout plan sponsored by Delphi's former parent, General Motors.
And more buyouts may be in the offing.
For example, Delphi hired 60 hourly workers in April and May at its catalytic-converter manufacturing plant outside Milwaukee. And plans call for about 20 hires per week in June, said Skip Dziedzic, president of UAW Local 1866 in Milwaukee.
Delphi is replacing workers who are taking a GM buyout to retire, Dziedzic said. Starting pay is $14 an hour, the rate for temporary hires, he said.
The type of UAW workers who are retiring average about $28 an hour.
Delphi also has been advertising for new hires at its steering plant in Athens, Ala.
North America's largest auto supplier has been seeking to pare back its U.S. manufacturing operations since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last Oct. 8. Negotiations between Delphi, GM and the UAW have been going on for months.
In Milwaukee, Dziedzic said he has been busy sending off retirees with little gatherings. About 80 of the plant's 425 workers have retired since April, he said. An additional 100 will retire in July, he said.
A total of about 250 of the hourly workers at the plant were eligible for the retirement package, he said.
Under the plan, GM will pay for up to 13,000 UAW-represented workers at Delphi to retire. Delphi has about 23,000 UAW workers nationally.
Terms of the deal call for GM to pay workers already eligible to retire an additional $35,000 as an incentive. GM also would pay other workers with between 27 and 30 years' service a monthly pension close to the full vested benefit.
Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams declined to discuss how many hires Delphi has made to replace retirees. The retirement program ends June 30.
Dziedzic said rumors are circulating that more incentives will be offered to get additional workers to retire.
You may e-mail Dave Barkholz at [email protected]