Bankrupt auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. said Sept. 26 that 13,800 employees have agreed to retire or leave the company voluntarily by the end of the year. The retirements and buyouts are part of a special attrition plan negotiated last spring with the United Auto Workers and Delphi, General Motor Corp.'s former parts division.
The 12,400 employees opting for retirement represent roughly 85% of the retirement-eligible UAW workforce, Delphi officials said. Another 1,400 employees elected the buyout option.
Under the proposed program, GM has agreed to assume the financial obligations related to the lump sum payments to be made to eligible Delphi U.S. hourly employees accepting normal or voluntary retirement incentives. Additionally, GM will absorb the post-retirement employee benefit obligations related to Delphi employees who transition to GM under the plan for purposes of retirement as well as half of employee buyout costs.
Another 5,000 Delphi workers are expected to transfer back to GM, further easing the burden.
Ron Gettelfinger, the UAW president, said earlier this month that the turnover of Delphi's employees is so significant the company can no longer claim it needs concessions from the union to emerge from bankruptcy.
Delphi's petition to set aside its existing labor contracts is now pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The case has been assigned to Judge Robert Drain. Delphi original filed for Chapter 11 reorganization of its operations in the U.S. last October.
Delphi, which was spun off from GM in 1999, remains the automaker's largest supplier.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006