Negotiations continue over union contracts

By Dee-Ann Durbin The Associated Press

DETROIT – With less than two weeks to go before Delphi Corp. plans to ask a federal judge to cancel its union contracts, the auto supplier is still negotiating with its major unions and General Motors Corp. over wage cuts.

Delphi’s second-largest labor union confirmed yesterday that it’s still in talks with the company. Union executive Robert Sutton made the comments yesterday after a media report suggested the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America had broken off talks because of a lack of progress.

Sutton, secretary of the union’s automotive conference board, said the union is not in negotiations this week because it is providing depositions to Delphi attorneys as part of the auto supplier’s bankruptcy case. Sutton said eight local shop chairmen and union leaders are meeting with Delphi attorneys this week in Troy, where Delphi is headquartered.

Sutton said those local leaders also prepared documents for the court last week that argue against the wage cuts Delphi has proposed as part of its reorganization. The communications workers branch represents about 8,000 of Delphi’s 33,000 U.S. hourly workers.

“The declarations say to the judge and to the opposing parties what we have done and haven’t done and what we plan on doing to keep Delphi viable and competitive,” Sutton said.