A strike appears to be looming at Delphi after union members at another plant authorised a strike against the components supplier.

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday that union officials at the Delphi Packard Electric Systems plant said 1,481 workers registered to vote at a meeting on Sunday and 94% voted to allow leaders of the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America Local (branch) 717 to call a strike.

The union's industrial division represents 25% of Delphi's 34,000 hourly workers. The United Auto Workers represents the majority of Delphi's hourly workers, AP noted.

IUE-CWA local shops were told last month they could begin voting to authorise strikes, the report said.

The plant in Warren, near Youngstown, Ohio, makes automotive wiring harnesses, AP added.

The Associated Press said that Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy in October, wants its unions to agree to lower wages and benefits. Two union chapters at plants in the Dayton area and two others in Mississippi previously voted to approve a strike. Another local in Gadsden, Alabama, was to vote on Sunday, and a vote is set for Tuesday at Delphi's plant in Ontario, California.

The news agency noted that, despite the votes so far, unions can't strike under Delphi's current contracts, which will remain in effect unless a bankruptcy court judge throws them out.

Delphi has threatened to ask a judge to void its contracts on 31 March if it fails to reach an agreement with General Motors, which spun off Delphi in 1999, and its unions to lower its labour costs, the report added.