According to news reports Tuesday, General Motors and the United Auto Workers are in talks that could help avert strikes at bankrupt parts supplier Delphi Corp.
The plan being discussed would see GM offering buyouts to encourage early retirement of Delphi employees. Besides reducing the risk of strikes at its largest supplier, the plan would help reduce Delphi's payroll costs as it struggles to restructure under bankruptcy protection.

When GM spun off its auto parts division in 1999 to form Delphi, it agreed to guarantee pensions and benefits of Delphi workers, but the extent of those guarantees under Delphi's planned restructuring is unclear. What is clear is that GM can ill-afford chaos at Delphi while the automaker struggles to deal with mounting losses (about $3 billion so far this year).


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