Workers at the New Process Gear plant in Syracuse, NY, have ratified a new contract with Magna International Inc.

The Canadian supplier says employees of United Auto Workers Local 624 approved the contract by a margin of more than 76%, while Local 2149 voted in favor by more than 92%. Combined, the union locals represent 2,500 employees at the plant.

“We are very encouraged to see the positive results of the ratification vote,” says Greg Deveson, president of Magna Powertrain Americas. “It reflects the combined support and commitment of our employees and Magna in making this plant globally competitive, helping to ensure its long-term viability.”

The previous pact expired in September. Magna describes the new contract as “historic,” without providing details. Sources have said Magna was seeking a 2-tier wage structure, which protects higher wages for long-time employees but allows for new hires at the plant to join the company at about half the pay.

Headcount at the facility, which had been known as New Venture Gear under joint owners General Motors Corp. and the former Chrysler Corp., is down more than a third since 2004, when 3,800 people were employed.

The plant produces conventional 4-wheel-drive transfer cases for rear-drive pickups and SUVs, as well as manual transaxles; and a variety of machined shafts, gears and housings.