Foundry Daily News

UAW, American Axle resume top-level contract talks

DETROIT (USA) – Top negotiators for American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. and the United Auto Workers talked for several hours Thursday and agreed to return to bargaining today as a strike against the company continued.

American Axle spokeswoman Renee Rogers said talks concluded early Thursday afternoon. She did not know whether progress had been made.

Messages were left for a UAW spokesman.

“We’ve agreed to further discussions,” Rogers said Thursday.

But the full bargaining teams were not at the table Thursday. The union sent its local bargainers back to their factories Monday and reported that the company wasn’t budging from its earlier proposals.

Formal negotiations broke down Monday in the dispute over wages and benefits that has affected General Motors Corp. factories in the U.S. and Canada.

GM’s Allen County truck assembly plant and its foundry in Defiance, Ohio, are among the plants that have been affected. Lead negotiators for both sides returned to the table Thursday morning.

About 3,600 UAW workers at five American Axle plants in Michigan and New York left their jobs for the picket lines on Feb. 26.

The resulting parts shortage forced GM to close all or part of 28 plants, affecting more than 37,000 hourly workers.

American Axle makes axles, drive shafts and stabilizer bars for GM, Chrysler LLC and other automakers.

GM accounts for about 80 percent of American Axle’s business, while Chrysler accounts for 10 percent and other automakers make up the rest.

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