DETROIT -- Delphi Corp. said today that 6,300 hourly employees represented by the IUE-CWA union, or 83 percent of those eligible, have agreed to early retirement or a buyout.
The attrition program, financed predominantly by General Motors, continues to relieve pressure for a strike at Delphi.
Earlier this summer, the UAW said nearly 13,000 of its Delphi members had taken a buyout or early retirement, with an additional 5,000 expected to transfer eventually to GM.
Delphi is restructuring its U.S. operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, spun off by GM in 1999, has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to end its labor agreements with about 33,000 union workers because those workers' pay is about twice what Delphi's U.S. competitors pay.
On Thursday, Aug. 17, a hearing on the petition was delayed until Sept. 18 as Delphi, GM and the unions try to negotiate new agreements.
The UAW and IUE-CWA have promised to strike Delphi if the court terminates the contracts. The IUE-CWA is the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America.
A strike at Delphi, which supplies GM with about $14 billion in parts annually, would quickly shut down the automaker.
But the impetus for a strike is evaporating. Only about 9,000 union workers who started working at Delphi before the company filed for Chapter 11 protection Oct. 8 will be left at the company a year from now.
That is about the number the supplier will need to operate the eight plants it intends to keep open in the United States as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy in 2007.
Delphi plans to close or sell 21 U.S. plants and produce most of its parts outside the United States.
Delphi, of Troy, Mich., ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with estimated original-equipment automotive parts sales of $22.58 billion in 2005.
You may e-mail Dave Barkholz at [email protected]