Volkswagen workers in Puebla have voted to reject a 9% pay raise and could strike next week if the German automaker doesn’t put a substantially better offer on the table.
Just over 53% of members of the Independent Union of Volkswagen Workers (SitiaVW) who participated in a vote last Friday rejected the offer of a 9% salary increase and a 2% benefits increase. Over 4,800 workers cast a ballot at VW’s plant near Puebla city, with almost 2,600 opposing the offer. The workers had sought a 15.5% salary increase as well as improved benefits.
Union leaders and Volkswagen representatives were expected to meet Monday to negotiate a new agreement. SitiaVW said in a statement that if an agreement isn’t achieved, it was expected that the Volkswagen plant in Puebla would go on strike on August 18.
According to a recent study by insurance company Aon, VW employees already earn more than other auto plant workers in Mexico. Published in March, the study said the average salary of a VW assembly worker – including benefits – is 1,261 pesos per day (US $62). That’s 30% higher than the average amount made by workers at Nissan’s plant in Morelos, who receive the second highest salaries in the sector at 971 pesos (US $48) per day.
Workers at Audi’s Puebla plant receive the third highest salaries – 928 pesos per day, including benefits – followed by those at Ford’s factory in Hermosillo, Sonora, who make an average of 914 pesos per shift.