Delphi Corp. will continue labor concession talks with the United Auto Workers union and former parent General Motors Corp. through the end of March.

The Troy, MI, supplier had set a Feb. 17 deadline in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to reach a deal with the UAW on rank-and-file wage and benefit reductions related to the company's restructuring. A new deadline is set for March 31.

If the parties fail to reach an agreement by then, Delphi Chairman and CEO Robert S. Miller says he will ask the court to void existing labor contracts and terminate hourly employee pension obligations.

“We remain committed to reaching a consensual agreement, and this deadline should provide us with sufficient time to deal with the complexities inherent in fashioning a practical and workable solution that works for all of us,” Miller says.

UAW President Ron Gettlefinger says the delay is positive and provides the opportunity for the negotiation process to work.

GM has an interest in the matter because a disruption in Delphi's production could cripple the auto maker in a matter of weeks. GM also has financial commitments concerning Delphi employee pensions as a result of its 1999 spin-off of Delphi.