After slamming union workers in the press and presenting a contract that provides substandard compensation and benefits, Delphi CEO Steve Miller is said to be rethinking that approach. The big mistake here, in my opinion - and I know many will disagree with me - is that Miller started off by painting his workforce as the antagonists in the whole bankruptcy mess, reinforcing the malignant us-vs.-them mentality from the very beginning. Yes, pay has to come down and benefits will disappear, and to be honest, I'm guessing that many of these workers understood this fact well before Delphi filed Chapter 11. A different approach by Miller in the beginning (one perhaps not quite so oriented towards pleasing Wall Street) could have generated a feeling of "we're all in this together". It's probably too late for that, though, as the union is now circulating a call for action that would slow down work in Delphi plants, an action that could cause dramatic ripple effects across the auto industry and probably won't generate a lot of public sympathy.


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