Published: Monday, August 20, 2007
IUE ratifies Delphi contract
Employees will be
contributing to health-care costs under the agreement.
WARREN Members of a union representing about 2,000 of Delphi Corp.'s hourly workers, including more than 1,000 in the Mahoning Valley, have ratified a new four-year contract with the auto parts supplier.
Local 717 of the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America, representing workers at Delphi Packard Electric here, was the last of seven union locals to vote on the pact.
The union said that, overall, 75 percent of the membership approved the contract.
Mike O'Donnell, Local 717 shop chairman, said his local voted 854 to 233 to ratify what he said was a concessionary package.
The terms take effect Oct. 1, he said, noting that federal bankruptcy court approved the contract Thursday, pending ratification by the union.
Delphi, an auto parts manufacturer that was once a part of General Motors Corp., has said it needed union concessions to compete against suppliers with cheaper labor costs.
The company filed for bankruptcy reorganization in October 2005.
The United Steelworkers, which has about 900 members working for Delphi in Ohio, reached its own tentative agreement with Delphi on Friday.
O'Donnell said skilled trades workers will see a $7-per-hour pay cut while production workers will lose $12.50 per hour under terms of the contract.
Employees will also have to pay more for their health care, he said, noting the previous insurance paid 100 percent of medical costs.
The new , reduced-coverage plan is an 80-20 plan with employees paying 20 percent of health-care costs up to a maximum of $1,000 out-of-pocket per year for individual coverage and $2,000 per year for family coverage.
Production workers will see their hourly rate drop from between $28 and $29 per hour to $16.50, while skilled trades will see their hourly rate drop from $33 to $26, O'Donnell said.
The Warren facility has 410 production and 250 skilled trades workers, he said.
The concessions are softened by "buy-downs," three years of additional lump sum payments to those two groups.
Production employees will get $35,000 a year for a total of $105,000 while skilled trades will get $25,000 a year for a total of $75,000.
That will give workers some cushion as they make the adjustment to a lower pay scale, O'Donnell said.
The remaining approximately 400 workers are temporary employees who are making $10 per hour without any benefits.
As of Oct. 1, they will all become full-time Delphi employees, which means they will be entitled to time and one-half for overtime, night shift differentials and more, O'Donnell said.
Further, based on seniority, some will see their pay rate go to $11 an hour with full benefits while others will go to $10.50 per hour with the minimum union benefits, he said.
O'Donnell said the IUE-CWA contract is very similar to the contract Delphi reached with the United Auto Workers. The IUE-CWA deal was patterned after the UAW agreement, he said.
"The past two years have been a difficult period for our members and local unions," said Jim Clark, president of IUE-CWA. "This vote gives members options about their future on the job and allows the union to start the rebuilding process."