“Pataki Offers Delphi Incentives” was the headline in yesterday’s paper. Apparently, not learning from the past, the Governor is offering to help Delphi take from the taxpayer again as it screws over it’s employees too.

The Governor’s package offers $20 million in grants; low-cost electricity and a reduction in Worker’s Compensation rates.

The grants are the same amount as the state gave Delphi in 1999 – the same year the company was spun off from General Motors. One of the conditions at that time was retention of jobs – back when there was about 6000 employees. Today there is only 3800, so you can see it worked so well, they want to try it again.

Delphi already receives cut-rate electricity from the Niagara Power Project which is tied to creation and retention of jobs in Western New York. While the use of the local resources should benefit the local businesses and economy, Delphi has still shrunk it’s presence over the years and continues to do so despite these programs.

The high cost of Workman’s Comp has been cited by Delphi’s CEO “Steve” Miller as being excessive. This is the same company that has such bizarre absenteeism policies that some employees have to file sick leave papers to protect themselves from disciplinary proceedings for a single sick day even though they have a written excuse from their Doctor. The cost to process a sick leave claim that will never result in any payment to the employee, must be enormous. Yet Delphi continues to use it to persecute certain employees that they have decided are problem cases and are in their “Absentee Program.” They abuse their own medical claim procedures, yet they can criticize the state’s.

Yet, the Governor continues to give corporate welfare to a company that has consistently reneged on their promises to maintain employment in the state. What the Governor should be doing is talking with the Attorney General about suing to get back the money they gave Delpi in 1999. They ought to seize the plants and take over operation and force GM to pay realistic prices for the products they are making for them. Whatever the state does, it shouldn’t knuckle under to blackmail and extortion from a lousy corporate citizen like Delphi.