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Delphi CEO: Company Must Reduce Wages to Survive

By Associated Press and Eileen Buckley

Troy, Michigan – Delphi Chairman and CEO Robert Miller says unions need to agree to wage and benefit cuts or the company will ask the bankruptcy court to void employee contracts. At an afternoon news conference Wednesday, Miller said he understands the anger of workers but that the company must lower hourly wages to compete.

Governor Pataki says the state is very concerned about Delphi's financial struggles and the future of the Lockport facility. Pataki says he is ready to do what he can to assist the bankrupt company.

"That doesn't mean if they go through their process of reorganization that I can predict what may or may not happen," Pataki said. "But we're going to continue to try to do what we can at the state level to encourage Delphi to keep those jobs in Western New York."

At his news conference, Miller noted that the Lockport plant makes automotive parts that "are going to be very difficult to continue manufacturing at standard industrial wages, much less the (wages) we're paying now."

But he said Delphi will continue to explore ways to "keep Lockport going."

Miller also said he had a discussion on Wednesday with Sen. Hillary Clinton about such public policy issues as health care, pension and workers compensation.