UAW reaches tentative contract deal with supplier Nexteer

UPDATED: 12/3/15 11:19 am ET - adds Nexteer statement

The UAW, fresh off its newly ratified labor contracts with the Detroit 3 automakers, said it reached a tentative deal with steering parts supplier Nexteer Automotive.

The deal was announced Tuesday in a Facebook post by Rick Burzynski, president of UAW Local 699, which represents about 3,200 UAW workers employed by Nexteer.

The UAW’s tentative deal must be approved by a majority of workers represented by Local 699 in order to be ratified.

Details of the deal were not immediately known. UAW officials could not be reached for comment.

"The parties believe the agreement recognizes the contributions of the employees and the commitment of Nexteer to continue providing quality jobs for their employees and quality products for their customers," Luis Canales, Nexteer's director of global corporate affairs, said in an e-mailed statement. 

Local 699 had threatened to go on strike beginning Thanksgiving Day, but the previous agreement between the two parties was extended through Dec. 1. The tentative deal was announced by the union shortly after the extension expired.

The union said it is assembling a bargaining committee to “highlight contract changes” to union membership and to set a voting date.

Nexteer supplies steering and driveline systems to customers including General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota Motor Corp.

Nexteer, ranked 68th on Automotive News’ list of top 100 suppliers with $2.9 billion of global sales in 2014, is based in Saginaw, Mich., and employs about 12,000 workers worldwide. The company is owned by Chinese investors Pacific Century Motors, which gained control of the company in 2010 after General Motors sold it for $440 million.

GM originally owned the business, which later became part of the Delphi Corp. spinoff in 1999. GM reacquired the business during the Great Recession in 2009 to allow Delphi to emerge from four years of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The UAW's last contract at Nexteer was ratified in 2010.

You can reach John Irwin at jirwin@crain.com -- Follow John on Twitter: @JohnDIrwin

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