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Monday, October 10, 2005

Quote of the year

"Delphi said it made the change after determining its severance package for top executives wasn't competitive." -- Detroit News

That's right--while threatening its workers with 63% pay cuts, and then filing for bankruptcy, auto supplier and major Michigan employer Delphi Corporation was busy making sure that its executives would be well taken care of as they were fired.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Delphi said 21 top executives will be eligible for 18 months of severance pay and at least a portion of their bonus if Delphi terminates their employment or they leave for "good reason." Previously, severance packages were capped at 12 months.
And they used the excuse that, well, you just can't attract executives to lay off without big golden parachutes. I'd suggest that any executive job candidate who asks about the severance package in an interview should never be offered a job.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who has been a big supporter of the "free traders" like the Clintons and John Kerry (her husband was Kerry's campaign manager in Michigan), is finally starting to get it--far too late for candidates Kucinich and Gephardt who might have actually done something to protect Michigan jobs. Here's what she said in reaction to Delphi's filing for bankruptcy:
I am profoundly disturbed by Delphi's decision and what it means for the nearly 15,000 Michigan employees, many of whom have worked for decades for the company based upon the promise that they would have a pension and health care when they retired.

Globalization is ravaging Michigan's manufacturing job base. Delphi's decision will undoubtedly have a ripple effect through Michigan's economy - an economy already reeling from outsourcing.

I am angry that this action occurs one day after headlines blared that Delphi employees were being asked to accept brutal, draconian pay cuts while upper management is being offered golden parachutes.

I am equally angry about the lack of support from Washington for the industries that made our country great. There is an apparent indifference in Washington to the human pain that so-called free trade has brought to average, patriotic, hardworking citizens who believe in keeping promises.

Moreover, the silence from the federal government is deafening. Washington negotiates these trade agreements and is not offering needed investment in either training our citizens or providing assistance with health care to allow both workers and businesses to be competitive.

If we as a nation can invest billions in infrastructure at home and around the globe, surely we can invest in the human infrastructure -- our American citizens -- whose middle class dreams and plans are being rapidly extinguished by race-to-the-bottom global competition.
Opposing globalization and supporting universal health care, along with stopping the criminal war in Iraq--that's what Kucinich was all about. But no, the Democratic machine had to go with the supposedly "electable" John Kerry. How'd that work out???

The Detroit News has lots of articles about the Delphi bankruptcy and its implications for what's left of Michigan's economy:
  • Staggering blow: Delphi in bankruptcy
  • Stock sinks 87 percent after bankruptcy announcement
  • Shell-shocked workers fear for future
  • Q&A: What the move means for Michigan's economy
  • Delphi CEO 'Steve' Miller has built a career on corporate rescue
  • GM depends on smooth reorganization
  • UAW's future: Givebacks or else
  • GM comments on Delphi filing
  • UAW statement on Delphi filing
  • Governor Granholm's statement on Delphi filing
  • Obligated to pay $12.9 billion, workers' pension plan is at risk
  • Move could unhinge suppliers
  • Timeline: Delphi's history
  • Delphi improves severance pay for senior executives as restructuring looms
  • Delphi demand: Brutal cuts
  • UAW wants to hold off Delphi bankruptcy, union chief says
  • Pension funds sue Delphi over accounting practices
  • Suit says Delphi used sham sales to up results