EconomyFinancialGeneral Motors and Silao plant workers reach a salary...

General Motors and Silao plant workers reach a salary agreement

General Motors and the new independent union at the US automaker’s largest plant in Mexico have reached a labor agreement that includes an increase in wages and benefits above inflation, the workers’ union said on Wednesday.

The union did not disclose further details or figures. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wage negotiations began in March after the incoming union, SINTTIA, won an election at GM’s plant in the city of Silao, Guanajuato, in a high-profile test for the North American free trade agreement, USMCA. .

The new independent union was seeking a 19.2% wage increase, citing rising inflation, and the US automaker had responded with a 3.5% offer.

SINTTIA’s proposal would increase wages at the plant that makes the profitable Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks to as much as 135 pesos ($6.62), according to a copy of the most recent collective agreement seen by Reuters.

That would still be much lower than the company’s US base wage of $17.50 an hour. The wage disparity prompted the United States’ insistence on tightening the labor rules of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (TMEC), which in 2020 replaced NAFTA.

SINTTIA Secretary General Alejandra Morales called GM’s counteroffer “a slap in the face” at a time when workers are cutting back to cope with rising prices, noting that many mid-level employees earn around three dollars an hour.

The first talks held under the new trade deal could lead to similar lawsuits at other companies in the country if SINTTIA gets a big raise. US government officials, who have long wanted to reduce the wage disparity with Mexico, are paying close attention.

SINTTIA presented its 19.2% proposal when talks began last month. Morales said that, in addition to runaway inflation, the wage increase was justified by increased production, years of declining purchasing power and the loss of value of the peso, while GM’s profits are in stronger US dollars. .

A 3.5% increase would be less than half current inflation.

Talks stalled on April 12, but in late April General Motors said it had made significant progress in wage negotiations.

With information from Reuters

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