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American Axle Manufacturing & Holdings Inc. (AXL) – UAW Approves Axle Deal by Overwhelming Majority

United Auto Workers at five American Axle Manufacturing & Holdings Inc. locations have overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new four-year labor agreement, one which will close plants and cut wages. The union said 78 percent of workers voted in favor of ratification while 22 percent voted against.

The agreement, approved by UAW members at the Buffalo, Tonawanda and Cheektowaga plants in New York, and Detroit and Three River’s plants in Michigan, covers 3,650 workers. Voting began on May 19 and concluded on May 22. The Buffalo plant is already being idled and the Tonawanda forge operation is also scheduled to be phased out.

“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.

Yet, UAW members accepted the company’s offer ending a protracted strike. In individual plant voting, the union said earlier that at Tonawanda Forge, union members voted 91 percent in favor of the new contract. It contains a separation agreement with six financial package options that include buyouts, retirements and cash buydowns. Workers also approved a plant closing agreement by 87 percent.

The 78 remaining members in the UAW local representing the Buffalo plant on East Delavan Avenue, where 700 jobs were eliminated in the past year, approved by 81 percent the formal closing agreement.

“This has been a difficult process for American Axle workers and there is no doubt that they stood strong through it all,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, director of the union’s American Axle Manufacturing Department.

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