JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Delphi Automotive says it's investing about $15 million to improve its manufacturing plant in the south Mississippi city of Brookhaven.
The investment by the international automotive supplier was announced Monday by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who said more than 200 jobs will be retained there.
Lindsey Williams, Delphi's director of corporate communications, told The Associated Press on Monday that the investment is coming because the union, plant management and local and state governments made "a good business case" to keep the place running.
Delphi is based in Troy, Mich., and has operated the Brookhaven plant since 1977, making printed circuit boards.
The Barbour news release said Delphi will install new equipment and make other improvements. Starting in March 2013, workers will make a new version of the circuit boards.
"The investment is a necessary element to continue Delphi's delivery of innovative and technologically-advanced products and services," Jim Spencer, president of Delphi Packard Electrical/Electronic architecture, said in the Barbour news release.
Barbour said: "Delphi has been a key corporate citizen in southwest Mississippi for more than 30 years. The company's decision to further invest in its Brookhaven plant is great news for southwest Mississippi."
The Daily Leader newspaper in Brookhaven reported (http://bit.ly/rp0dI2 ) that Delphi's decision to remain in the city came after a labor dispute in which some workers thought Delphi might close the local plant and move operations to Mexico.
A contract had been set to expire Oct. 12. In May, union members rejected a five-year contract proposed by management. Delphi had indicated to union leaders a plant shutdown could occur in October if agreement was not reached.
In early June, Delphi ordered some equipment at the Brookhaven plant crated up to be sent to Mexico, and many workers saw that as a sign of a possible shutdown.
Union leaders and Delphi representatives signed a memorandum about a new contract June 29. On July 5, union membership ratified the deal in a 116-15 vote. The final contract gives employees wage increases of 3 percent this December and 4 percent in December 2014.
"Company leadership and employees came together to a local solution that worked for everyone," Cliff Brumfield, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executive vice president, told the newspaper.