American Axle and UAW reach tentative agreement
By Kevin Krolicki
DETROIT (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers and American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc (AXL.N: Quotazione) reached a tentative contract agreement late Friday aimed at ending an 11-week-long strike that had triggered thousands of layoffs and cost General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quotazione) at least $1 billion.
Both sides confirmed that a tentative deal had been reached to end the strike by some 3,650 U.S. hourly workers at the auto parts supplier but neither side offered details of the proposed contract.
The UAW went on strike on February 26 at five American Axle plants in Michigan and New York, triggering parts shortages that shut down production at some 30 GM plants in North America and marking the start of what became one of the longest-running strikes in the 73-year history of the union.
The union said in a short statement that it would hold a meeting in Detroit on Sunday to explain the contract to hourly workers at the company's main Detroit factory.
The UAW said it would schedule other meetings to discuss the details of the agreement with workers in Three Rivers, Michigan, and in New York, clearing the way for ratification votes next week.
GM accounts for about 80 percent of the revenue for the auto parts supplier, which was formed in 1994 when Chief Executive Dick Dauch led a group of investors that bought the company's assets from the No. 1 U.S. automaker.
American Axle had sought steep cuts in wages and benefits for its UAW-represented workers and had been looking to cut at least two of its factories.
The Detroit-based supplier had argued it could no longer afford the wage and benefit packages paid by major automakers in competition with other suppliers, including Dana Holding Corp (DAN.N: Quotazione), that have come through bankruptcy with sharply lower labor costs. Continua...