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GM supplier ends strike PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 May 2008

Workers at a key supplier to General Motors Corp. ratified a new labor agreement late Thursday, ending a strike that had forced the US auto-maker to shut down a several factories, reports agency.

The United Auto Workers said 78 percent of members at five American Axle and Manufacturing Holding Inc. locations had approved the new four-year labor agreement, which covers 3,650 workers, while 22 percent rejected it.

The deal forces workers to accept deep cuts in pay and benefits, from 28 dollars an hour on average to 18.50 dollars. At some plants, pay for some support jobs will be reduced to 10 dollars an hour.

"Our members have had to make some tough decisions for themselves and their families and have done so with careful deliberation," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

GM, which depends on American Axle for axles, driveshafts and other critical parts, had been forced to shut down all or part of its production at a dozen assembly plants during the nearly three-month strike.

The US automaker began calling workers back to the closed plants earlier this week after American Axle, a former GM subsidiary, had reached a tentative deal with the union.

GM's production had been cut by more than 300,000 vehicles since the strike began February 26. The first five weeks of the strike cost the automaker 800 million dollars, GM said in securities filings.

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