USA - American Axel and UAW Reach Deal that could End Strike

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DETROIT--An American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. spokeswoman confirms the auto parts supplier has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers that could end an 11-week strike.

Spokeswoman Renee Rogers says she doesn't have any details of the deal reached late Friday. It's not clear when the agreement will be presented to union members.

The walkout by about 3,600 workers at five factories had crippled truck and sport utility vehicle manufacturing at General Motors Corp.

The company makes axles, drive shafts and stabilizer bars for GM, Chrysler LLC and other automakers.

GM was forced to partially or fully close more than 30 factories, including operations in Ohio, and lay off thousands of workers because of parts shortages.  

General Motors has agreed to help resolve the crippling strike at American Axle by paying $200 million to assist with employee buyouts and "buy-downs". The agreement to assist is predicated upon an expedited resolution to the ongoing strike called by the International UAW against American Axle.

According to GM, the assistance will "help bridge the gap" between the supplier and the UAW whose nearly 3700 employees have walking the line since February 26th. The strike has idled or hampered production at 30 GM plants, especially those producing pickup trucks and SUVs. GM saw first quarter losses of $800 million dollars due to the strike. The number one carmaker just wants to see the strike end so that they can get back to producing the cars and trucks that their customers want.