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Delphi to offer buyouts, early retirements to hourly UAW workers

From AP| June 25,2007

DETROIT (AP) - Delphi Corp. will offer workers buyouts, severance packages, early retirement incentives and other payments in exchange for ratification of a wage-concession deal meant to help the struggling auto parts supplier emerge from bankruptcy and avoid a strike.

The incentives for ratifying the deal vary in order to appeal to Delphi's many hourly constituencies, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the deal whom it did not name. The Associated Press left a message seeking comment with a Delphi spokesman.

Delphi and United Auto Workers leaders signed the agreement Friday, but it still must be approved by the company's 17,000 UAW members and a federal bankruptcy judge in New York. Union members expect to hear details on the pact beginning Monday.

Local union officials have already said the deal would provide three annual payments of $35,000 (euro26,040) each for about 4,000 UAW workers, who would see their hourly wages cut from about $28 (euro21) to between $14.50 (euro11) to $18.50 (euro14) beginning Oct. 1. During the buy-down period, those workers also could try to return to General Motors Corp., Delphi's former parent company.

Other incentives reportedly include:

A $140,000 (euro104,160) buyout for workers with more than 10 years of service, and a $70,000 (euro52,100) buyout for those with the company for less than 10 years.

A $35,000 (euro26,040) payment to encourage workers with at least 30 years of service to retire.

Retirement benefits for workers age 50 and above with at least 10 years of service.

A program for workers with at least 26 years of service that allow them to stop working but be paid as active workers at the lower rates until they reach 30 years of service and retire.

$1,500 (euro1,115) per month severance pay for every month worked - up to $40,000 (euro29,760) - for all supplemental and temporary employees who choose to leave the company.

If approved, the pact would end the threat of a strike that could have shut down production at GM, Delphi's largest customer.

Delphi, which lost $533 million (euro396.55 million) in the first quarter and $5.5 billion (euro4.09 billion) in 2006, has said reducing labor costs is key to its plans to emerge from bankruptcy later this year.

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