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Delphi idles workers in slow times

Delphi Packard Electric Systems has temporarily idled 160workers, including some at its Brookhaven facility, due to aslowdown in automobile parts orders, company officials saidMonday.

Delphi employs over 570 at the Brookhaven facility on IndustrialPark Road and over 1,300 at its plant in Clinton.

Company officials did not break down affected employee totals ateach facility. A spokeswoman said the majority is at the Clintonplant while a “small percentage” of the total is fromBrookhaven.

“It’s fluctuating every week depending on production schedules,”said Wendy Matthews, state spokeswoman for the company.

With its employee total, Delphi is one of the state’s largestmanufacturers. The Brookhaven facility makes electrical equipmentand precision molding parts while Clinton workers manufacturemolding and cable products and other parts.

The move is part of a corporation wide effort that has seenapproximately 4,000 employees sent home as Delphi AutomotiveSystems adjusts to fewer automobile parts orders. Matthews said thelayoffs began in January, but was unsure how long the layoffs wouldlast.

“We’ll continue to adjust schedules depending on productionneeds,” she said.

National company officials said members of the United AutoWorkers union will get 95 percent of their take-home pay. Matthewssaid state workers, which are affiliated with the IUE, are in asimilar situation.

“That’s consistent with us,” Matthews said.

In February, U.S. sales for General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co.and the Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler AG slid a combined 10percent over the same month last year.

GM, which spun off Delphi in 1999, has said it looks to cutproduction 21 percent from January through this month over the sameperiod last year, with plans to trim second-quarter output by 17percent.