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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2007
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UAW-GM fight may have effect on Delphi

By Eric Fleischauer
eric@decaturdaily.com · 340-2435

The United Auto Workers strike, and the issues underlying it, could impact workers and retirees at the Delphi Corp. plants in Limestone County.

The most immediate effect, said Vaughan Goodwin, UAW Local 2195 president, would be from the strike.

“If the strike continues on, it would affect us as far as us having to slow down and adjust our manning as far as what parts are being shipped out,” Goodwin said.

A long strike could reduce employment at Delphi.

The Delphi Memorandum of Understanding, already approved by the bankruptcy court, extends into 2011. While other automakers and suppliers are watching the GM-UAW negotiations to gauge their own future negotiations, Goodwin said the court-approved Delphi agreement makes those negotiations largely irrelevant to Delphi employees.

Some local Delphi employees, though, are to switch their employment to GM. They will work under whatever contract GM and UAW negotiate.

Pursuant to the agreement between Delphi and UAW, 350 senior Delphi employees will “flow back” to GM. Most will work at GM’s Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.

Goodwin said those employees, upon returning to GM, will be subject to the contract worked out between UAW and GM.

Many Delphi employees and retirees could be affected directly by the negotiations between UAW and GM on retiree health benefits. The contract between UAW and Delphi gave GM responsibility for paying retiree benefits to Delphi’s longtime workers and retirees.

Goodwin said Delphi’s Limestone County plants have about 1,150 employees. In recent months, Goodwin said, Delphi has hired more than enough employees to replace those who have retired or quit.

Pursuant to the agreement between UAW and Delphi, the two Limestone County plants are to close in March 2009.

“Anything could change,” Goodwin said, “but that’s still what we’re being told.”

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