Delphi watch: proposal to UAW

I’m posting on this as the Delphi bankruptcy proceedings are basically a test case for GM’s own possible bankruptcy in the future. And like it or not, that will effect Saab in no small way. For those of us that were hoping that Renault would buy Saab from GM, don’t hold your breath; DetNews is reporting that Nissan is ramping up plans to take it’s Infiniti brand worldwide, which would pretty much take Saab off the Renault/Nissan radar.

The UAW’s website has just posted copies of the proposal put forward by Delphi to restructure it’s relationships with UAW employees. It’s certainly a document with ‘consequences’ written all over it.

Read the coverpage for yourself…..click the image to enlarge.

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This is most certainly a huge document and it opens the door very wide for a UAW strike. Obviously it’s early in the piece and this is a shot over the UAW’s bow, but it sets the tone for things to come: and the tone is aggressive.

Delphi recognizes the hardship that this proposal imposes on your (the UAW’s) members. There is no alternative. Unless Delphi can transform its US operations, they will cease to exist, resulting in even greater hardship for employees, retirees and their families.

An Automotive News email alert summarises the big points in the proposal as follows:

Delphi Corp. wants its 25,000 UAW-represented employees to accept wage cuts from $27 an hour to as little as $9.50 an hour or the company will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to terminate labor contracts.
Delphi also is demanding an end to the company’s job bank, which pays about 4,000 idle workers. The supplier also wants major new employee cost-sharing on health care, reduced holidays and the right to sell, close or consolidate any of its 45 U.S. factories and support centers.

The Delphi proposal to the UAW leadership was posted Tuesday afternoon on a UAW rank-and-file Web site, www.futureoftheunion.com.

Delphi also proposes freezing the pension plan for hourly employees, but the supplier may later terminate the plan, the posting said.

Delphi is not commenting on the proposal, except to say that the provisions are needed for the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said Lindsey Williams, Delphi corporate affairs manager. Delphi, North America’s largest auto supplier, put its U.S. operations under Chapter 11 protection Oct. 8.

The response on the site: “No UAW leader or member would agree to this ridiculous proposal!” Phones at UAW headquarters after business hours were not answered, but UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said last Friday that the proposal displayed “a total lack of concern” for Delphi workers and their families.

Delphi proposes paying one group of production workers $9.50 an hour and another group $10.50 an hour. Skilled workers would earn $18-$19 an hour. A wage of $9.50 an hour is equal to $19,760 a year without overtime, just $410 above the national poverty threshold for a family of four.

The proposal says that Delphi plans to implement the agreement Jan. 1. It would run through Jan. 1, 2012.

Delphi said it sought Chapter 11 protection to relieve losses from high labor costs and from operating unnecessary plants.

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