Union, Delphi want to keep talking

Both sides want to keep talking rather than go back to court.
Union and management officials at Delphi Corp. told a bankruptcy court judge that they want to continue bargaining.
Both sides reported Thursday to Judge Robert Drain of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that some progress is being made in contract talks, said Lauren Asplen, a spokeswoman for the International Union of Electrical Workers.
They met privately with the judge to determine if court hearings should be resumed on Delphi's motion to scrap its union contracts. Those hearings have been recessed since May.
Rather than come back to court, the two sides want to remain at the bargaining table, Asplen said. They are to report back to the judge in early November, she said.
Pressing for new pacts
The Michigan-based auto parts maker is pressing its unions for new labor contracts because it says it can't emerge from bankruptcy court protection without lower operating costs.
Since the hearings were recessed, Delphi offered retirement and buyout incentives that will cut its hourly work force from 27,500 to 7,500.
Locally, all but 659 of Delphi Packard Electric's blue-collar workers are taking the incentives. The hourly staff totaled 3,800 before the buyouts were offered.
Besides the national contract talks, discussions are being held on a new local contract. One issue is how Delphi Packard would get to the level of 1,033 workers that it says it needs in the future.

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