Delphi strike unlikely here, official says

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 9, 2005

A union workers’ strike at Brookhaven’s Delphi Packard ElectricSystems plant is unlikely, a company executive said Thursday.

Lindsey Williams, manager of corporate affairs for Delphi, saidthe company is continuing to negotiate with all of the unionscontracted by the auto supply giant.

“Our focus remains on reaching a consensual agreement with theunions,” he said. “We’re not only working with (United AutoWorkers), but with all our unions.”

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A United Auto Workers negotiator reportedly told union leadersin Detroit Wednesday that a strike “appears more likely than not,”according to The Associated Press. Williams declined to comment onthe content of the negotiations.

“We’re not commenting on the discussions themselves,” hesaid.

However, Williams said if UAW were to strike it would likely nothave any local effect because the more than 500 employees at theBrookhaven plant were members of the International Union ofElectronic Workers (IUE).

Zev Wells, president of the Brookhaven chapter of IUE, alsodeclined to comment on the negotiations and how the local plantmight be affected.

“I’m not authorized to talk about that,” he said.

Delphi, which also has a Mississippi plant in Clinton, has beenoperating under bankruptcy protection and is seeking steep wagecuts from its hourly workers.

The company has asked its unions to agree to cut hourly workers’wages by more than 60 percent, from $27 an hour to between $10 and$12.50, according to The Associated Press.