Compromise wins day with Delphi contract

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, July 10, 2011

The cooler heads of compromiseprevailed.

    With this week’s vote by members of the IUE-CWA Local 718 to accepta new work contract with Delphi, all of the approximately 250employees at the Brookhaven plant – and this community as a whole -can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

    Since early May, when concerns arose about the plant’s future here,interested observers watched as negotiations between local unionleaders and Delphi management went back and forth.

    At one point, the sides appeared far apart and Delphi began sendingsignals that local plant equipment would be sent to Mexico. Hopesfor the plant’s future appeared low and tensions around the plantappeared high.

    And then late last month, corporate and local union leaders wereable to come to an agreement that enough found satisfactory. Unionmembers approved the new contract Tuesday in a 116-15 vote.

    According to the Memorandum of Understanding, union members won twopay raises over the length of the five-year contract, new healthcare options and savings plan participation. A profit-sharingprovision, based on an employee’s performance and attendance,should provide a healthy incentive for workers.

    With the plant seemingly back from the brink of closure, localeconomic leaders are hopeful that plans that had been underconsideration before the contract issues arose can now moveforward.

    Among those are anticipated “moderate” job additions totaling about25 to 30 slots as a result of enhanced investment and new equipmentfor the Brookhaven plant. The new equipment would focus on makingnew versions of General Motors product lines.

    Throughout its more than 30 years in operation, the Brookhavenplant has been recognized as a world-class operation. With thecontract issues settled, all can hopefully anticipate a return tonormal at the plant and the community can look forward to a betterfuture.