US: Judge postpones Delphi hearing
A US bankruptcy court judge on has postponed for a month a hearing into Delphi's request for power to impose wage and benefit cuts on its US hourly workers.
Lawyers for Delphi, its former parent General Motors and unions representing the workers met with Judge Robert Drain Thursday afternoon, and the hearing was adjourned until Sept. 18, the United Auto Workers and Delphi told Reuters.
"With the progress reached to date, we at least want the opportunity to resolve the issues consensually and we are hopeful to do that during this period," Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams told the news agency.
Reuters noted that Delphi last week put off resuming the labour contract hearing to continue negotiations with GM, unions representing its US hourly workers, and creditors. The most recent court order set it to resume on Friday.
The report said unions have threatened to strike if Delphi imposes cuts - potentially disrupting production at GM and other automakers at a cost of billions of dollars - but analysts said the delay may be a sign of progress and called a strike unlikely.
"The longer they negotiate and avoid a confrontation, the likelier it is they will reach agreement without production disruptions," Fitch Ratings managing director Mark Oline told Reuters.
GM executives last week expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached and called it a top priority for the automaker, the report said. The UAW at that time called negotiations with Delphi disappointing at best.
"Events over the past week have not materially changed that assessment," the UAW told Reuters on Thursday, adding that it expected to present witnesses to support its case for retaining current labour contracts when the hearing resumes.