VW Plant Workers in Mexico Strike Over Pay, Benefits
Workers at Volkswagen’s assembly plant in Mexico went on strike Friday after rejecting the company’s offer of a 4% wage increase and a 0.5% increase in the value of benefits.
After nine days of negotiations that failed to lead to an agreement, the union representing nearly 10,000 workers hung black-and-red strike flags at the assembly plant in the central city of Puebla, 60 miles southeast of Mexico City.
The plant produces 1,400 vehicles a day, the union said.
The German automaker’s local subsidiary, Volkswagen de Mexico, said its offer was above the inflation rate and above the average for the automotive industry. Inflation is currently at about 3% and is expected to end the year at 3% to 3.5%.
The union is demanding an 8.5% salary increase and a 2.75% hike in benefits.
Volkswagen said company and union representatives would continue efforts to settle the dispute with the help of labor arbitration officials.
Union spokesman Miguel Galan said 53.7% of the group’s members rejected the company’s offer Thursday night and gave the go-ahead for a strike.
Galan said that the average monthly salary of the lowest-paid workers at the plant was 4,225 pesos ($390) and that the average salary of the highest-paid was about 14,520 pesos. Mexico’s minimum wage is about 47 pesos a day, or about 1,124 pesos a month.
“We hope that this is resolved soon for the good of the workers and the company,” he said.
Workers last went on strike in 2004, also because of differences over wage increases.