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Union votes to ratify contract at Delphi

The deal covers about 2,000 workers at the ailing auto parts firm.

August 20, 2007|From the Associated Press

detroit -- Members of a union representing about 2,000 of Delphi Corp.'s hourly workers voted to ratify a new four-year contract with the auto parts supplier, the union said.

Seventy-five percent of International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America members at locals with Delphi employees voted in favor of the deal, the union announced late Saturday.

"The past two years have been a difficult period for our members and local unions," President Jim Clark said in a statement. "This vote gives members options about their future on the job and allows the union to start the rebuilding process."

A spokesman for Troy, Mich.-based Delphi could not be reached for comment.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York approved the deal last week, so the contract goes into effect immediately, the Communications Workers' industrial branch said. A tentative deal had been reached Aug. 5 after the union warned of a possible strike if progress wasn't made on talks.

Delphi has said it needs union concessions to be able to compete against suppliers with cheaper labor costs. Delphi is the former parts division of General Motors Corp., which spun it off in 1999. Delphi entered court protection in October 2005, and agreements with its unions are part of an effort to emerge from bankruptcy.

The International Union of Electronic Workers has members at three plants that Delphi plans to keep -- in Warren, Ohio, and Brookhaven and Clinton, Miss. -- as well as at three the company plans to sell or close, in Kettering and Moraine, Ohio, and Gadsden, Ala.

On Friday, the United Steelworkers announced a tentative agreement with Delphi covering about 900 of its Ohio workers.

The Bankruptcy Court last month approved Delphi's agreement with its biggest union, the United Auto Workers, which represents 17,000 Delphi employees.

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