Delphi Corp. stock has been delisted on Wall Street; its bond rating has been downgraded; a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York will oversee a massive restructuring of the Troy, MI-based supplier's U.S. operations; and thousands of employees fear for the loss of their jobs and benefits.
Could Delphi's Oct. 8 bankruptcy filing have been avoided if 3-way negotiations with General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers union had proven fruitful?
Perhaps, but Delphi CEO and Chairman Robert “Steve” Miller harbors no grudge against the supplier's former parent, GM. Delphi had sought a financial bailout from the auto maker.
“I'm not blaming General Motors,” Miller tells Ward's. “This just got way too complicated for us to (reach agreement) in the time available.”
The bankruptcy filing likely will drive the UAW and GM to resume talks with Delphi as the gravity of a bankruptcy and thousands of lost jobs sets in.
“This filing does not change any of our underlying economic facts,” Miller says. “We have uncompetitive cost levels in our factories, and we need to deal with it.”
Delphi has about 50,000 employees in the U.S., including 32,000 hourly workers who earn more than $60 an hour in wages and benefits, the same as GM, Ford and Chrysler pay their UAW laborers. Delphi wants to cut those wages by 60%.