American Axle & Manufacturing closes Detroit area plant for good

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - The doors closed for good Saturday at American Axle & Manufacturing's Detroit area complex that once employed thousands. 

"For them to get rid of us now, it's just crazy, I don't understand it when they're making money," said Rodney Coleman who put in 17 years at the company. 

The UAW met with union members Saturday afternoon to discuss the status of negotiations with AAM and what will happen once the plant closes for good Saturday night at midnight.

 "Now we don't know what we're going to do. How are we going to pay our mortgages, pay our car notes, and feed our kids and things of that nature?  So it just sucks," said Coleman.  

The union worker is one of 300 hourly and salaried employees that were left at the facility.   

"I don't know what's going to happen.  I'm just thankful that my husband has a job and works everyday and gets some overtime for us right now," said worker Leanne Miller.

The closure is having a troublesome effect on people and businesses living nearby like Hamtramck.

"It's frustrating to see the diminishing of the property value of my home and I'm sure it's the same way with other people in the city to see everything diminish," said Terry Lee of Hamtramck.

The company announced it was closing the plant back in February after citing a shift in the market and not being able to reach a new agreement with the UAW.  Union workers say they took pay cuts but it still didn't seem to be enough.

 "These people working in here worked for him for 18 years right from the beginning, and he based all his worldwide operations on what he made in Detroit and now he's turning around and not giving people their due," said worker Jerry Wynne.

AAM has plants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and New York.  They also own or have joint ownership of plants in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico and Poland.

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