Now that Delphi ( DPHIQ) has found some common ground with organized labor, the bankrupt auto-parts supplier is mounting a last-ditch effort to cut wages for its hourly workers and avoid a devastating strike. With the help of General Motors ( GM), its former parent, Delphi struck a deal last week with the United Auto Workers union to offer buyout packages to thousands of workers in return for early retirement. The agreement marked a step forward in Delphi's attempt to lower its labor costs, but it didn't address the cornerstone of its proposed restructuring, which involves lowering hourly wages. Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams said Monday that the company submitted a comprehensive proposal to the UAW that includes wage cuts and other measures. He declined to provide any more details. The Detroit News, citing sources familiar with the proposal, reported that the offer calls for hourly wages to be cut to $22 from $27 per hour and then gradually be reduced to $16 per hour. A spokesman for the UAW could not immediately be reached for comment. If the report is accurate, the proposal appears to mark a softening on the part of Delphi, whose chairman and chief executive, Robert Miller, previously called for a 60% reduction in wages for hourly workers. Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy in October, contends that it must shed a portion of its labor costs, since its current cost structure crimps its ability to compete in a global economy. The UAW has opposed wage cuts, threatening a strike in the event that Delphi asks a bankruptcy judge to cancel its union contracts. A strike would cripple Delphi, along with GM, which depends on the company as its largest supplier of parts. Given the multitude of GM's financial and competitive problems, such an event could wipe out the automaker's cash cushion and force one of the largest issuers of corporate debt in the world into a bankruptcy of its own.