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8,500 Delphi Packard employees strike GM subsidiary

May 13, 1997

WARREN, Ohio (AP) _ A union representing about 8,500 hourly workers struck a General Motors Corp. parts subsidiary early Tuesday over pension and pay differences with Delphi Packard Electric Systems.

Bob Sutton, shop chairman for Local 717 of the International Union of Electric Workers, said the walkout began when no contract was reached by the union’s 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Delphi Packard spokesman Jim Kobus said third-shift workers left their jobs as the deadline passed. Talks could resume Tuesday, Kobus said.

Kobus said the company felt progress was being made up to the point of the strike deadline.

``Both sides have been bargaining some very complex issues involving our people and some competitive needs of the business. This has been going on since June,″ Kobus said.

Kobus said it was too early to comment on when GM and other automakers that use Delphi Packard products might be affected by the walkout.

Harold Nichols, a lead negotiator for the union, said earlier Monday that progress in the talks was insignificant.

Kobus and Nichols declined comment on the unresolved issues. Union members have complained about retirement incentives for older workers and lower wages and benefits for younger employees.

Kobus said Warren-based Delphi Packard has 17 manufacturing plants, all in the Warren-Youngstown region, and makes wiring harnesses for 20 auto makers around the world. Half of its production goes into GM vehicles.

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