Blaming the current economic conditions and still wounded from a near-fatal labor strike, Detroit-based auto supplier American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. will reportedly lay off at least 500 workers at its largest plant and send the remaining jobs south of the border to Mexico.

This time last year, the manufacturer was embroiled in an ongoing UAW labor dispute. The strike crippled General Motors, eventually forcing the automaker to stop production on many of its popular trucks before American Axle reached terms with the union and ended the strike after three months. The dispute couldn't have come at a worse time. Its resolution last spring was followed by a plummeting economy dumping vehicle production, choking GM's demand for American Axle components (accounting for 74% of the floundering supplier's sales).

Founded in 1994, American Axle will start moving the facility's production to Guanajuato, Mexico over the summer. More than 500 of the 700 workers at the Detroit complex will be laid off indefinitely, and only 232 of the company's most senior workers will likely have jobs remaining when the dust settles later this year. Thanks for the tip, Farzin.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]