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Reports Say Delphi Deal Near; UAW Says Not So

March 10, 2006|From the Associated Press

DETROIT — General Motors Corp. shares rose Thursday on word that the automaker was close to a deal with Delphi Corp. and the United Auto Workers to help Delphi's hourly workers, but the UAW cast some doubt by hotly denying an agreement was imminent.

GM shares rose 92 cents, or 4.5%, to $21.34.

Delphi "is one of the chief things that was holding GM up and causing fears of bankruptcy," Burnham Securities analyst David Healy said. On Wall Street, "there's a collective sigh of relief."

But the UAW said media reports indicating the parties were close to an agreement were false and were a disservice to its members.

"There are many, many significant issues to be resolved," the union said in a statement. "Overall, the situation has changed very little since our last meeting."

The UAW confirmed that it would hold a meeting Wednesday for union leaders from Delphi facilities but said the meeting was routine and intended to update members on "these complicated and difficult discussions."

Healy said he suspected the UAW was bluffing in order to keep some heat on GM and Delphi. "They always negotiate in the press," he said.

GM spokeswoman Katie McBride said the automaker wouldn't comment on the discussions or the timing of a resolution. Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams said the talks were progressing but wouldn't comment further.

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