Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Union objects to Delphi bonus program for executives

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Union objects to Delphi bonus program for executives
Vinnee Tong / Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Delphi Corp.'s second-largest union on Wednesday asked a bankruptcy judge to reject a $60 million-a-year executive bonus program at a time when the auto parts supplier is moving forward on attrition programs offered to more than 30,000 union employees.

In its objection filed Wednesday, the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America said an extension of the annual incentive program for senior executives "will anger, humiliate and alienate 34,000 Delphi represented workers and interfere with their unions having any reasonable chance to negotiate modifications in their collective bargaining agreements."

Delphi asked Judge Robert Drain of the Southern District of New York to extend the bonus program for the second half of this year and continue as long as the company is in bankruptcy. The union asked the court to delay the motion until the company emerges from court protection. The matter is scheduled for a hearing on a week from Wednesday.

The court decided that Delphi had "exercised reasonable business judgment" when it sought the first program, which covered the first half of the year and was estimated to cost $36.3 million. It implemented the program to bring executive compensation up to competitive levels, according to the request by Delphi. A call to a company spokesman was not immediately returned.

The IUE-CWA represents about 8,500 workers at Delphi, and last month endorsed an attrition program to offer buyout packages ranging in worth from $40,000 to $140,000 and voluntary early retirement for a $35,000 payout. About 20,000 employees represented by the company's largest union, the United Auto Workers, were offered similar packages.

The union further objected that the bonus program set unreasonably low targets for executives to qualify for the at-risk compensation, and that eligibility had been extended to all 14,000 salaried employees under the new request, instead of 467 top executives in the first program.

On Tuesday, the company reported a $2.4 billion loss for 2005, in a delayed filing with regulators.

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