American Axle sends Camaro work to Mexico

this is a follow up to Axle plant's hopes ride on new Camaro

Souce: Business First of Buffalo - Thomas Hartley

Hope was dashed Wednesday that American Axle & Manufacturing's local axle plant could land work on the GM's new Camaro muscle car.

The company told employees that the work, instead of being assigned to Buffalo, will be done at a Mexican plant.

"I'm disappointed and disgusted," said Kevin Donovan, the United Auto Workers union's Region 9 assistant director.

"The plant worked hard to make American Axle a success which gave them the opportunity to build plants in Mexico. Now the company is taking work that we worked real hard to bring here and is putting it into Mexico," he said.

Plant officials told UAW members at meetings in the morning and afternoon where the decision was announced that American Axle will aggressively pursue other new work for the Delavan Avenue facility.

A company official at Detroit headquarters declined comment.

Donovan estimated that 130 local jobs probably would have been involved in producing components for the Camaro, which is being introduced in the 2008 model year.

The plant has about 650 to 700 hourly workers. Several hundred more are on layoff, some since early this year.

At three Western New York facilities -- Buffalo, Town of Tonawanda and Cheektowaga -- American Axle has 1,700 employees.

The modern update of the popular 1960's-era model Camaro is being assembled at General Motors Corp.'s plant in Oshawa, Ont.

Workers at GM's Powertrain plant in the Town of Tonawanda were still waiting this week to learn if they would be assigned to make the Camaro's engines.

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