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UAW workers at ZF plant in Alabama ratify labor deal, end strike


© An American flag flies in front of the United Auto Workers union logo on the front of the UAW Solidarity House in Detroit, Michigan, September 8, 2011. Two years after the wrenching restructuring of the U.S. auto industry and the bankruptcies that remade

By David Shepardson

() -United Auto Workers union members who went on strike at Mercedes-supplier ZF’s plant in Alabama last month demanding higher pay and better healthcare benefits ended a nearly month-long walkout on Thursday.

The union said the strike by 190 workers was over after a tentative agreement had been ratified. Workers last month had rejected an earlier contract offer.

ZF, which makes front axles used by Mercedes-Benz (OTC:) at its nearby Alabama plant, said last month the Tuscaloosa factory would operate while talks with the union continued.

A ZF spokesperson said the company was “glad to be able to move forward and continue to provide world class technology to our customers from ZF Tuscaloosa.”

About 34,000 UAW members remain on strike at the Detroit Three automakers – Ford Motor (NYSE:), General Motors (NYSE:) and Chrysler parent Stellantis (NYSE:). UAW President Shawn Fain met at the bargaining table on Thursday with both GM and Stellantis, officials said.

Stellantis said on Friday it was temporarily laying off another 100 workers in Ohio at a machining plant and bringing the total to 1,520 employees on furlough.

The UAW last expanded its strike on Oct. 11 when it walked out at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant, the company’s largest plant worldwide. The strike at targeted facilities began on Sept. 15.

Ford said late on Wednesday that it was temporarily laying off another 150 workers because of the strike, bringing the total to 2,730 workers furloughed since the start of the strike. GM has more than 2,300 workers furloughed.

Fain said on last week that UAW members would now walk out of additional facilities without warning rather than waiting until Fridays to announce new plans, as the union had done initially.

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