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American Axle strike continues to slow local SUV production

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JAMES P. LEUTE
May 7, 2008
— The ongoing United Auto Workers strike against American Axle continues to slow production at the General Motors assembly plant in Janesville.

Second-shift workers will be on the job next week, and those on first shift will be laid off, the plant announced Tuesday. That continues a pattern the plant generally has followed since a shortage of parts started affecting the plant in March.


The pattern will change, however, for the week of May 19, when no production is scheduled. The next week will see the return of first-shifters, and the second shift will be laid off.


While laid off, employees are eligible for union-negotiated supplemental pay as well as state unemployment benefits, providing them the majority of their weekly take-home pay.


American Axle supplies GM plants with axles, drive shafts, stabilizer bars and other parts.


More than 3,600 UAW members struck the company on Feb. 26 over a company plan to drastically cut wages and benefits.


GMs plant in Janesville was first affected during the week of March 10, when both shifts worked half time. With the exception of some previously scheduled down time, local production has been about 50 percent of normal because of the American Axle strike.


As the American Axle moved into its 11th week today, the two sides continued talks to hammer out specifics on the economic issues at the heart of the dispute.



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