Saturday, April 01, 2006

As United Went, So Goes Delphi

The fate of Delphi electonics workers in Indiana is beginning to look ominously like the recent extinction of United Airlines aircraft mechanics in Indianapolis. The bankrupt auto parts giant rolled out a survival plan which calls for the elimination of 1,000 workers in Anderson and a 39% percent wage cut to preserve jobs in Kokomo according to Star business reporter Ted Evanoff.

UAW representative George Anthony is predicting a strike by union workers against Delphi. He and a production worker tell Evanoff:

"The wages, benefits and pensions are not going to be as lucrative. We know that,'' Anthony said. "But what they've put on the table is not acceptable." Delphi Kokomo production worker Todd Jordan, a UAW dissident whose wages would be sliced to $16.50 an hour from $27 by the reorganization plan, said he's ready to go on strike. But he expects that even after a strike, Delphi would continue to provide jobs in Kokomo. "I'm going to stay at this plant as long as I can,'' Jordan said. "I care about the lower pay, but someone needs to help workers here understand what went wrong and the message of unionism.

The Delphi workers can strike all they want, but it's not going to change the future they face. Their jobs will likely be exported to China where consumer electronic goods are being manufactured at a fraction of the costs here in the U.S. The Delphi workers will face an even tougher time finding comparable paying jobs than United's more skilled aircraft mechanics faced.

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