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Deadline Nears for Delphi Employees to Accept Buy-Out

By Eileen Buckley

Lockport, NY – Hourly workers at the Delphi plant in Lockport have until June 23rd to decide on General Motor's buyout proposal. A national economist says a number of factors will, no doubt, be a big part of their decision making.

As of late last week, the "Detroit Free Press" reported that about 30,000 United Auto Workers at GM and Delphi Corporation facilities across the US signed up for buyout plans and early retirement.

Since filing for bankruptcy, Delphi is expected to shut down some of its facilities. The company is also calling for an end to its union contracts. That has backed some workers into opting for the buyout proposals. Lynn Karoly is a senior economist with the Rand Corporation. She says for some local workers, a buy-out deal will require certain considerations.

"What lies ahead if they remain as opposed to what the alternatives will look like should they decide to take the buy-out," Karoly said. "There are a lot of considerations in terms of what's happening in the larger economy."

But Karoly says what these workers must acceptis the US workplace has changed, and it will never be the same....

"Workers are going to find that they are not going to have options for lifetime employment -- taking a job with one employer and remaining with that employer for all of their career," Karoly said. "We're now seeing workers moving from job to job and employer to employer in the face of changing technology. This is going to become more the norm than the exception."

That means some auto workers, who may be displaced by changes at Delphi, need to prepare for a new career. Karoly says they may seek new job training and education to learn how to become agile and adjust to a changed workforce. She notes that this is no longer their parents work place.