Delphi pact expires

WARREN – Negotiators were at the table most of Monday trying to work out a new labor agreement between Delphi Automotive and International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America Local 717.

The current contract expired at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Ed Salus, president, IUE-CWA Local 717, said Monday afternoon that union leaders have been in “active negotiations” with the company the past five weeks.

Neither Salus nor shop chairman Brian Lutz could be reached late Monday for an updated status on talks.

The local union represents 668 production and skilled trade workers employed at Delphi’s plant on Larchmont Avenue NE.

Once among the area’s top employers, Delphi had some 14,000 workers before filing for bankruptcy Oct. 8, 2005.

The company that started as Packard Electric went through several transitions in the years after forming in Warren in 1890. Packard initially produced incandescent light bulbs, but branched out to the automobile industry, building the first Packard motor car in 1899.

Packard Motor Car Co. was split off from Packard Electric in 1902 and Packard Electric began focusing more of its business on automotive components.

In 1932, Packard Electric became part of General Motors. By the 1980s, it was the industry’s leading producer of wire harnesses and other electrical automotive components. In 1995, it became part of Delphi Automotive Systems. In 1999, Delphi was spun off from GM to become a separate company.