Delphi employees protest - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Delphi employees protest

November 2, 2005

Fitzgerald--An unusual protest at a south Georgia plant in danger of being shut down. More than a dozen Delphi workers in Fitzgerald rode their lawnmower to work today. They're outraged by comments made by the company's CEO and what they call corruption within the company.

Employees say they're mad, and they're not going to take it anymore.

"We're not just going to lay down and let him do us like this," says worker Faron Carver.

Carver and other Delphi workers are angry with the man at the top of their company, Delphi CEO, Steve Miller.

"He said something about what we need to do is send our kids to college, so they won't become grass mowers I guess like we are," says Carver.

Last month, the company filed for bankruptcy. To save money, employees say they must now suffer the consequences.

"He's asking us for 60% of our wages. He's asking us just to give it up," says Carver.

"We could possibly lose our paycheck, lose our pension, lose our healthcare," says worker Ralph Smith.

Delphi leaders blame the company's financial problems on employees' high wages.

There are more than 300 employees working at the Fitzgerald company, and they are some of the highest paid employees in Ben Hill county.

"We make a good wage as good as they are around, and I'm not saying we don't, but we also work. We work hard for what we're doing," says Delphi worker Ralph Smith.

Smith has worked for the company for 29 years. He worries that the company may move overseas.

"Even the blue jean manufacturer Levi has closed their last plant in the United States. Those jobs have moved out of country," he says.

These employees say Delphi needs better management at the top.

"If they don't make better decisions as far as how to run the business or what businesses they need to get into, I figure it's going to be very bleak for them," he says.

And for the employees who promise to keep making noise in hopes that the company will take better care of them.

Delphi employees more than 33,000 employees nationwide. It's bankruptcy is the largest in American automotive history.

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