updated 4/26/2006 9:24:21 AM ET 2006-04-26T13:24:21

Talks have reportedly broken off between Delphi Corp. and its second-largest labor union over the auto supplier’s plan to cut wages and jobs.

The International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America, which represents 8,500 Delphi workers, halted negotiations last week when no progress was being made, spokeswoman Lauren Asplen told The Detroit News for Wednesday’s editions.

But Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams denied to the newspaper that talks with the union have broken down.

“I can’t tell you what they’re talking about,” he said. “But I can tell you they’re talking.”

The comments from Asplen come just weeks before a federal bankruptcy judge considers Delphi’s motion to scrap its union contracts.

Industry analysts say a strike by the Communications Workers’ industrial branch still is a long shot, even though the union is frustrated. A strike would devastate the U.S. auto industry, and particular General Motors Corp., which is Delphi’s largest customer.

The Communications Workers’ branch recently voted to let its leadership call a strike whenever it sees fit. The United Auto Workers — which represents 24,000 Delphi employees — has not taken a strike authorization vote.

Delphi, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, has announced a reorganization plan that would close or sell 21 of its 29 U.S. plants and get rid of more than two-thirds of its 33,000 hourly workers. It plans to get rid of five of the eight factories where employees are represented by the Communications Workers’ branch.

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