Delphi announcement pending

Published 6:00 pm Friday, August 12, 2011

The future of the Brookhaven Delphi plantappears strong with an expected announcement in the near future ofa significant monetary investment into the local plant.

    Company officials were in Brookhaven Wednesday meeting with unionleadership to inform them of management’s ratification of a newlabor agreement. Neither the Governor’s Office nor Delphi officialswould confirm the details of the announcement except that there waspositive news for the area.

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    City and economic leaders enthusiastically greeted the news aswelcome relief to fears over the possible closure of the plant thatcirculated through the summer until stalled labor negotiationssuccessfully concluded in early July.

    “This appears to be good news for the community,” said Mayor LesBumgarner, holding further comment until the official announcementis made.

    Delphi currently employs approximately 250 people, including unionand non-union workers.

    “There has been a lot of hard work done on behalf of the company,the state, and local leaders over the past year dating back toearly fall in 2010,” said Cliff Brumfield, Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce executive vice president.

    Brumfield deemed the expected announcement “wonderful news,” butwithheld further comment until the official statement.

    The expected announcement of expanded investment seems to provide apositive ending to a protracted labor dispute that saw the threatof Delphi closing the local plant and moving operations toMexico.

    Negotiations on a labor contract set to expire Oct. 12 becamecontentious in May after union members rejected a five-yearcontract proposed by management. Delphi had indicated to unionleaders a plant shutdown could occur in October if agreement wasnot reached.

    In early June, Delphi ordered some equipment at the Brookhavenplant crated up to be sent to Mexico, widely interpreted assignaling an imminent shutdown.

    However, union leaders and Delphi representatives signed aMemorandum of Understanding regarding a new contract June 29. OnJuly 5, union membership ratified the deal in a 116-15 vote.

    The final contract granted employees a general wage increase of 3percent to occur this December and a 4 percent wage increase comeDecember of 2014.

    “Company leadership and employees came together to a local solutionthat worked for everyone,” Brumfield said.