News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Crippled GM finally taking Delphi woes seriously, too

General Motors is finally showing that it takes its obligations to Delphi Corp. seriously.

Delphi, which is in the midst of a reorganization bankruptcy, has three times delayed its deadline for asking the bankruptcy court to terminate its labor contracts with the UAW and other unions. The first two delays were almost desperate. Delphi said it could only survive if its workers' wages were cut in half. That backed the UAW into a corner, leaving it with no realistic choice but to strike.

A strike, Delphi management knows, would be a deadly blow to the crippled auto supplier.

Until after the second delay, GM was content to be an onlooker. It spurned negotiation requests and stuck its head in the sand.

The most recent delay in the request to reject labor contracts shows, for the first time, promise instead of desperation. Before Delphi requested the delay, GM finally acknowledged its survival is closely tied to Delphi's.

GM is hurting. Analysts have begun talking about the possibility that it will have to file bankruptcy. It is plagued by debt, massive employee-benefit obligations and poor sales.

The fact is, though, that many of Delphi's woes are traceable directly to GM, its former parent.

GM's already poor sales would come to an abrupt stop if Delphi employees, who supply GM with most of its parts, went on strike. GM needs Delphi to survive.

The fact that GM is finally facing up to its obligations is a good thing for GM and Delphi. It is also good for Delphi's 2,100 employees in Limestone County.

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