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American Axle to cut 2,000 jobs

DETROIT, May 29 (UPI) -- American Axle and Holding Inc. announced Thursday it would cut 2,000 jobs, paring its workforce down at six plants in New York and Michigan.

Most of the job cuts will be eliminated through buyouts and early retirement options, The Detroit News reported. The announcement was made just weeks after settling an 87-day strike by United Auto Workers.

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The recently signed contract reduces labor costs to $30 to $45 per hour, down from $73.48 per hour, saving the company $300 million a year, the report said.

Job buyouts and bonuses offered in the contract to mitigate the effects of reduced wages are expected to cost the company $450 million to $500 million.

But, the announced cuts are expected to prompt more workers to sign up for retirement offers.

"Workers will probably express anger and resignation because these cuts are deeper than many would have expected," labor professor Harley Shaiken at the University of California-Berkley told the News.

"It will provoke more people to take the buyouts," he said.

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