The 10-day strike between American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. and the United Auto Workers union is now threatening to idle or partially shut down 13 more GM plants as early as Monday. Although talks are underway again, even a resolution over the weekend may mean closures as it takes time to deliver inventory and ramp up production. As of now, seven assembly plants at GM have already been idled after the AA workers walked off their jobs on February 26th.
American Axle supplies components to many different automakers, meaning the strike is being felt industry-wide. The strike is hitting GM particularly hard, however, as it does represent some 80% of the supplier's business. GM idled four truck plants within days. By yesterday, five GM plants, and seven suppliers were down. Chrysler may also have to idle plants in Delaware and Mexico by mid-next week if both sides don't come to an agreement.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Reportedly, both sides already agree on the principles of a concession, leaving just the issue of hourly wages on the table. And, as most negotiation experts point out, money differences are often the easiest to solve.
[Source: Detroit News, Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty]