Delphi Bankruptcy One Year Anniversary

The Hyundai job post reminded me of the article the Lockport Journal had on the weekend about the Delphi Bankruptcy Anniversary.

It was the typical Lockport paper puff-piece. Said nothing new, asked no hard questions and avoided the real issues here in Lockport. Of course they’re not the only media that falls into that trap.

As I’ve pointed out before, the bulk of the creditors in the bankruptcy are (drumroll, please) other parts of Delphi. It’s all a shell game to hide the money. Delphi is using bankruptcy to break its’ contracts. Contracts with the unions. Contracts with its’ suppliers. Contracts with GM. (Finally, something that makes sense.)

I suppose that change in the contracts with the unions are inevitable. Both labor and Delphi are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to wages and benefits. It’s a result of our country and governments’ going down the free-trade path, one we warned them of back in the 80’s. But the politicians ignored the labor unions and, well, the auto industry wanted it despite the impact on it’s U. S. operations. Those were expendable in the war for market share and profits.

The suppliers are hurting too, but many of them at least have other customers. Let’s hope the marketplace dictated their prices and they are able to survive.

And then there is GM. The spin-off of Delphi was orchestrated from the beginning to bring about this situation and GM has done everything in it’s power to help bring it about. Contracts for parts that were priced below cost and demands for annual reductions just weren’t realistic for a new independant company. They were designed to throw Delphi into the red and shift profits into the assembly end of the business. (GM)

That’s why it’s only fair that GM be required to pick up or guarantee the benefits and retirements of the former GM workers at Delphi. The court has apparently seen this and supports that.

But the paper keeps on treating Delphi like it is one company. That it is almost out of money and creditors are banging on the door looking for payment. That’s just not the case. The shell game is merely emptying one pocket out of many so they can turn it inside out to show the judge. The overseas operations, built on past profits from U. S. plants, are profitable. but they aren’t being counted in the bankruptcy. The property, the land, the buildings, the other holdings of Delphi aren’t counted either. They’re ‘owned’ by the branches of the company on the creditor side of the equation.

But the paper doesn’t mention that.

They talk to one union official, Paul Seijak, who is almost the sole experienced member of the union board that’s left. They ignore the Shop Chairman (or couldn’t get through to him, which is more likely.) The Shop Chairman, Matt Gianno, or Gee-I-Don’t_Know, as he is commonly known, is usually unavailable, even to his own shop committee. He is seldom in his office and can usually be found by looking for him in Personnell or the Plant Managers office hanging out with management. The union committee-persons are so dissillusioned by no support from abive, they are all but unable to help their people.

Gianno’ s unilateral decision making on behalf of the rest of the union has become an issue as well. He’s often done as he pleased without consulting the rest of the shop committee and recently wanted to replace committee-person openings caused by retirements and flowbacks with his own appointees. He even reshuffled districts to make that easier for him to do. He was forced to hold elections when it was pointed out that he was going against the unions constitution.

I don’t know how the election went. It was the last week I worked. I got to vote in it, but really didn’t hear who won. I’m kind of glad that it doesn’t matter because I’m out of there. As time goes by and I lose touch with what goes on there, I guess it won’t make much sense for me to comment on Delphi any more. Maybe this will be my last post on that subject…

Posted in Rants, Work

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