Walmart avoids a strike with 5.5% wage increase

About 8,000 workers at Walmart, Sam's Club and Bodega Aurrera were to strike on Wednesday

An agreement reached last week between Walmart México and its employees was subsequently ratified, avoiding a strike by more than 8,000 employees in 132 stores.

The Revolutionary Confederation of Laborers and Farmworkers (CROC) had threatened a massive strike that was to begin yesterday if demands for a 20% salary increase and a 4% productivity bonus were not met.

Among workers’ complaints were Walmart’s failure to respect the right to an eight-hour working day, not paying overtime in accordance with the law, discrimination against pregnant women, unfair dismissals and not enrolling workers in medical insurance or retirement schemes.

But Walmart reached an agreement with CROC that offered workers an average annual pay increase of 5.5% and a productivity bonus linked to company sales. Cashiers and other low-ranking employees at Walmart earn on average between 140 and 150 pesos (US $7 to $7.50) per day.

Walmart spokeswoman Gabriela Buenrostro said that 92% of employees received a productivity bonus based on sales results in 2018.

“We are committed to continue generating savings to be able to reinvest in salaries and other strategic measures.”

Tec de Monterrey business school director Fernando Tapia said the salary increase will not strain the company’s finances — it recorded a 108% increase in sales in 2018. He added that the salary increase only barely outpaced the annual inflation rate.

Tapia said that if the strike had taken place, the company would have likely suffered a blow to its reputation among investors due to an immediate dip in sales.

Source: Reporte Índigo (sp)

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