Strike-hit American Axle American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (AAM) demands for large wage cuts and its plans to close all but two of its striking plants are too drastic for the United Auto Workers to accept, a union negotiator has said.

Local (branch) 235 negotiator and shop chairman Dana Edwards, representing striking AAM workers in Detroit, told the Detroit News the UAW is willing to give up US$5 to $8 an hour, depending on job and plant, but the supplier wants larger cuts and is seeking to close a majority of the striking plants.

"We've bent over backwards to give them very decent proposals and they're talking about closing additional plants," Edwards told the paper. "It just blows me away."

The Detroit News said Edwards' comments came on the same weekend that UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said negotiations took a negative turn on Friday night after American Axle proposed closing a Cheektowaga, New York, plant. The union and company had already agreed to close forge sites in Detroit and New York.

About 3,650 American Axle workers have been on strike Feb since 26 February, resisting the supplier's demands for reduced wages and benefits.