In midst of economic crisis, Volkswagen workers union seeks 12% pay hike

The company's vehicle production declined 54% in the first half of the year

Volkswagen workers in Puebla intend to go on strike if the German automaker doesn’t agree to a 12% pay rise by the middle of August.

The Independent Union of Volkswagen Workers, or Sitiavw, has begun negotiations with the company with a deadline set for 11:00 a.m. on August 18. If a deal isn’t struck by that date, the union will advise workers to commence job action.

Union press secretary Manuel Aburto said Wednesday that the union had also submitted its demand for a 12% pay hike to the federal Labor Ministry.

A majority of workers voted not to postpone the wage negotiations even though Volkswagen is going through tough times due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic restrictions.

The push for a pay rise comes a year after the union and Volkswagen reached an agreement that saw workers’ salary packages – made up of their wages and benefits – rise 6.58%. The union is now seeking a 12% rise to workers’ salaries exclusively.

Volkswagen could argue that it’s not the right time for a salary increase as it was forced to shut down its operations in Puebla in April, May and part of June due to the coronavirus crisis.

As a result, vehicle production declined 54% in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2019.

According to the national statistics agency, Inegi, Volkswagen made 106,707 vehicles in Mexico between January and June compared to 234,190 in the first six months of last year.

The automaker’s exports fell 54.1% in the same period, with 100,526 vehicles sent abroad from Mexico.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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