The five week-old strike at American Axle is finally starting to wear on GM, and the General has decided to move a small but crucial parts contract over to rival supplier Dana to help get its truck plants moving again. The 30,000-unit prop shaft contract for light pickups is considered a small deal, but the fact that GM is beginning to move on shows that the strike, which began on February 26, is beginning to take its toll on the giant automaker. The move is going to anger the striking workers, but it will also likely help get American Axle management back at the bargaining table.

Recent events show that still more GM plants are being hurt by the strike, as the plant that builds the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS was shut down last Friday, and Automotive News reports the Chevy Cobalt plant could idle this week. Perhaps the biggest news of all is that GM is running out of rear suspension knuckles for the hot-selling Chevy Malibu. Since the General is in the middle of a mega-million dollar ad push for the North American Car of the Year, we're guessing a work stoppage at the Orion, MI plant won't be taken lightly. This ever-lengthening strike may have started out as a non-story, but lost production on a grand scale of some of GM's most profitable products will hurt GM, American Axle, and its 3,600 workers in the long run.

[Source: Automotive News - subs. req'd]