DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union is not close to a deal with Delphi Corp. and its former parent, General Motors Corp. (GM), on buyouts and wage cuts that the auto-parts maker says it needs to stay in business, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger says.
"Right now, everything's up in the air," Gettelfinger told The Detroit News on Tuesday. "Honestly, that's the truth. The entire process is in the air."
Troy-based Delphi filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 8. Delphi chief executive Steve Miller has said that he will try to overturn union contracts if an agreement is not reached by March 30. Union leaders say that could lead to a strike.
"That's Mr. Miller's deadline," Gettelfinger said. He said the union does not consider itself bound by the deadline.
The UAW represents most of Delphi's 34,000 hourly workers. About a quarter are represented by the IUE-CWA, part of the Communications Workers union.
Delphi says that the wages it inherited from a 1999 spin-off from GM hinder its ability to compete.
Delphi spokeswoman Claudia Piccinin said the company does not plan to extend talks any longer after doing so twice before.
"We understand that our discussions need to have an end date to them, and that progress needs to be made, and that a restructuring plan needs to come together in short order," she told the News. "Therefore, we've set the end of March as our deadline."