Two years of tense negotiations have finally come to an end with the approval by members of United Auto Workers of a deal with supplier Delphi.

The final agreement will see wages cut and some plants closed but will preserve thousands of jobs.

In a brief statement, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said: “The ratification vote at GM’s former parts operation is complete and the agreement was accepted by the membership. The total vote was 68% to accept the agreement, 32% to reject it.”

As reported by just-auto last week, the pact cuts wages for longtime UAW workers from around $US27 per hour to between $14 and $18.50. Industry analysts said it could become a template for other parts suppliers.

The deal will come as a relief to both Delphi management and General Motors as it averts a strike that could have shut down production at General Motors, Delphi’s largest customer.

It also leaves Delphi in a much stronger position to compete going forward, while freeing up the UAW to concentrate on pay negotiations with GM, Ford and Chrysler.