Mexico Volkswagen Workers Strike Over Pay

Workers wanted 3% pay increase and management offered 1%

Some 9,000 workers at Volkswagen's Mexico plant, the German auto giant's only factory in North America, began strike action on August 18 after pay negotiations collapsed.

Workers at the plant in the central city of Puebla began the strike in the late morning after management refused to accept a 3% pay rise, having made an offer of 1%, union leaders said.

VW said that it had not been possible to reach a deal but stated its "willingness to continue with the negotiations."

Workers initially sought an 8.25% pay rise and a one-off bonus of 5,500 pesos (around US$ 420) before reducing their demand to three percent plus the bonus, said union leader Victor Cervantes. Workers carried out a five-day strike in 2006 after which they obtained a 5.5% pay increase.

Production and sales at the assembly plant, which exclusively produces four VW models for the world market, shrunk 37% in the first seven months of the year due to the crisis in the car industry, according to VW.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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