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United Auto Workers Reach Tentative Deal with American Axle

GM has lost production of more than 250,000 trucks and SUVs during the strike.

The United Auto Workers said May 17 it had reached a tentative agreement with a key auto parts supplier to end a long and crippling strike that forced General Motors to close six assembly plants. "We do have a tentative agreement" with American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc (AAM), UAW spokesman Roger Kerson said shortly after midnight.

The union released no details of the deal pending ratification meetings, union officials said.

The strike, which began February 26, had forced the number one U.S. automaker to shut down most of its production of light-duty trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) for nearly three months -- a move that reportedly has cost GM up to one billion dollars. GM has lost production of more than 250,000 trucks and SUVs during the strike at American Axle, according to most estimates.

Some 3,650 American Axle workers walked off the job after the UAW rejected deep pay cuts demanded by AAM management. Company chairman Richard Dauch also threatened to move work to China or Mexico if the union didn't accept the company's terms.

Before the strike, American Axle workers had been making $28 per hour, or wages comparable to those paid at General Motors Corp., which spun off American Axle in 1994.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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