updated 3/27/2006 12:37:00 PM ET 2006-03-27T17:37:00

Delphi Corp. has delivered its latest proposal for cuts in wages and benefits to the United Auto Workers, which represents the majority of the auto-parts supplier’s 34,000 hourly workers, the union said.

UAW spokesman Paul Krell said Monday the union had received the proposal, but he declined to comment on details.

Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams would not confirm that a new proposal had been completed.

Under the latest offer, Delphi’s hourly workers, who currently are paid $27 per hour, would see their wages initially cut to $22 per hour and then fall gradually to about $16 per hour, sources familiar with the proposal told The Detroit News.

Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October, says its expensive U.S. labor agreements make it impossible to compete in a global economy. Delphi wants to cut its wage and benefit rates and has set a deadline of Thursday to reach an agreement with former parent General Motors Corp., the UAW and other unions.

If no agreement is reached, Delphi could ask a bankruptcy judge to cancel its union contracts, an action that could lead to a devastating strike.

GM spokesman Jerry Dubrowski declined to comment.

Last week, in one of the largest buyout programs ever, more than 125,000 hourly GM and Delphi workers were offered up to $140,000 to give up their jobs to help cut the companies’ labor costs.

Under that plan, Delphi said up to 17,000 workers could be eligible for a $35,000 payment to retire. Also, up to 5,000 Delphi workers will be eligible to return to GM under the deal.

Troy-based Delphi first threatened in December to ask a bankruptcy court to reject its union contracts, but the company three times has delayed a filing that would ask to cancel those contracts.

The UAW has threatened to strike if a judge approves Delphi’s request to void its contracts. A strike would cripple the supplier as well as GM, its largest customer.

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