Union Authorizes Strike At Delphi

Members of the United Auto Workers union authorized a strike at Delphi Corp. should the auto parts supplier use its bankruptcy court proceedings to alter its work contracts, the union said May 16. The strike authorization motion garnered the support of 95% of the members who voted.

It came a week after a hearing before a U.S. bankruptcy judge to consider Delphi's request void its union contracts and unilaterally impose salary and benefit cuts.

A national strike at Delphi could cripple General Motors Corp., its largest customer and former parent. GM relies on Delphi for several critical components for a majority of its North American-made vehicles and a lack of parts would force GM to close its assembly operations.

GM has taken steps to stockpile some parts provided by Delphi, but GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said the supplies would only last "days" and he would rather have all of the parties come to a mutually acceptable pact that would avoid a walkout. He said negotiations continue, but refused to speculate on a timeframe for a possible resolution.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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