American Axle Strike Over as UAW Members Approve Contracts

United Auto Workers Local 235 voters approved the tentative deal with American Axle Thursday night, ending the three-month strike that has crippled General Motors’ production, reports the Detroit News.

Both the national contract and all local contracts have been approved by a vote of 78 percent of workers. More than 1,500 of about 1,900 workers voted.

The American Axle strike was one of the longest in UAW history and forced the full or partial shutdown of about 30 GM plants, American Axle’s largest customer.

Although the four-year deal means wage cuts and plant closings, workers are glad the strike is over.

"I’m happy because I need to get back to work," said Scott Seymour, who voted ‘yes’ on the contract. "We all need to take that buydown money and pay our bills, and then figure out what’s next for us."

The contract calls for the closure of a forge plant in Detroit, which employs 300, and another in New York, which employs 460. The typical worker at the Detroit Gear plant, which remains open, will take a $10 per hour pay cut and will pay more for health care.

Most of those workers, however, will receive either a buyout worth up to $140,000 to leave the company, or a buydown bonus worth up to $105,000, to stay at the lower wages.

American Axle workers are expected to return to work early next week.