American Axle Strike: Two GM factories up, one GM factory down

The American Axle strike, now in its second month, is causing General Motors more than a few headaches. The parts shortage caused the General to nearly cease production of its highly profitable large trucks and SUVs, and shut down production in Oshawa, Ontario and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

As of this past weekend, it appears that GM has found enough parts to re-open those two plants to start building the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra again. While that's good news for those workers, the SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, all but untouched by the strike, will now find itself shutting down. Arlington will go on a four-week layoff starting April 14.

To get the Ontario and Indiana plants up and running, GM is reportedly getting parts from an American Axle plant in Mexico (as Chrysler has been doing). Although GM won't officially specify from where the parts are coming, if they are being supplied from Mexico, as many suspect, it will offer the automaker additional leverage in its dispute against the UAW. Union officials are currently losing negotiation power as the slumping U.S. auto market has reduced the demand for vehicles with American Axle components. In a move to shift the balance of power back to its favor, the UAW has threatened additional strikes if local contracts aren't soon reached.

[Source: Detroit News]

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