Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Delphi job cuts still on the horizon

Delphi in Kokomo may have to endure job cuts despite concessions:

Job losses most likely will continue at Delphi's Kokomo electronics complex even if union members there vote this week to accept pay cuts and other concessions, analysts say.

Delphi, the nation's largest auto-parts maker, says it needs wage cuts, more flexible work rules and other concessions to lower costs and win the financing necessary to pull itself out of bankruptcy.

United Auto Workers officials outlined the proposed deal with Delphi on Monday during meetings with the 1,500 hourly workers in Kokomo.

Even if workers accept the concessions, it probably won't end the job cuts in Kokomo.

Delphi's internal forecasts call for sales in its Kokomo electronics complex to drop by half in the next five years as it shifts work to lower-cost suppliers abroad and in the U.S.

Falling sales are expected to lead the bankrupt company in the next few years to eliminate at least 300 of the 1,500 hourly jobs now in the Kokomo complex, analysts estimate.

"They'll probably phase down the operations in Kokomo some more,'' said analyst Haig Stoddard of Global Insight.

Six years ago, Delphi was Indiana's No. 3 industrial employer with about 12,000 workers, all in Anderson and Kokomo. Today, the company employs about 4,000 in Indiana, almost all in Kokomo. The Anderson plant will close this summer.

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