Laid-off employees at some General Motors Powertrain division plants have been recalled to work as the automaker returns its drivetrain manufacturing operations to full production. The move is said to be independent of any pending resolution of a 12-week-long strike by the United Autoworkers union at American Axle & Manufacturing.
American Axle supplies drivetrain products to GM for SUVs and light trucks. Since mid-March, the lack of components as a result of the strike forced slowdowns or shutdowns at more than 30 GM plants. The strike was cited as a cause for GM’s $800-million first-quarter loss this year, and the automaker offered American Axle $200 million to help finance a settlement with the striking workers.
American Axle workers are voting on a proposed four-year contract.
Local reports indicate that 150 workers have been recalled at GM’s engine plant in Bay City, MI, and 442 workers have returned to the Saginaw (MI) Metal Casting operation.
"The engine plants are running and gearing back up, so they need parts," GM Powertrain spokeswoman Lucy Hellickson told the Bay City (MI) Times.