"We have people that are very interested in taking the deal," said Darrell Shepard, president of the local chapter of the UAW. He
would not speculate on how many would accept the buyout offer.
Delphi employs 183 hourly workers at its plant in Wichita Falls, and all but nine are part of the UAW
.Delphi has 34,000 hourly workers nationwide.
As part of the recent agreement, up to 5,000 of those workers will be eligible to return to GM
- Delphi's former parent company - while 13,000 U.S. hourly workers will be eligible for a lump sum payment of up to $35,000 to retire.
"It's definitely good news," Shepard
But an early retirement incentives plan is only one issue among several in UAW
's negotiations with Delphi and GM
"So it's a first step," he
But it's not the ballgame.
Representatives of both parties must still negotiate agreements about wages and benefits for the Delphi workers who will stay with the company. Shepard
doesn't believe that a strike is likely, but he
said it's still a possibility if talks don't produce a deal on the remaining issues.
"They're working hard on a deal that both sides are satisfied with," Shepard