SILAO, Mexico: U.S. automaker General Motors (GM) has agreed to raise wages by 8.5 percent, following negotiations with a new, independent union at its pick-up truck plant in the central city of Silao.
The wage increase is one of the highest recent pay raises in the local car-manufacturing industry.
The agreement with the union is also the first major pay increase since the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which aims to reduce the wage gap between U.S. and Mexican workers.
It remains to be seen if such raises can be easily duplicated in other factories, industry officials said.
The independent Mexican labor union SINTTIA earlier won the rights to represent workers at the pick-up truck plant in Silao.
As well as wages, the deal promises larger bonuses, a 14 percent increase in grocery vouchers and a mandatory day off on Christmas Eve, union officials said.
The new contract also stipulates that GM and the union will form working groups to negotiate work schedules, a protocol for dealing with sexual harassment cases, and a program to push back against inflation in the coming years.
According to the two-year contract, salaries will be up for review in one year, said Alejandra Morales, SINTTIA’s secretary-general, adding that she hoped workers at other plants would see news of the raise as a sign of what independent unions can accomplish.
“Before, there were deals just between companies and unions. Today, it’s possible for us workers to have real negotiations,” said Morales, a GM Silao employee for nearly 12 years, as quoted by Reuters.
Ahead of a workers’ vote to approve the agreement later this month, GM has not commented on details of the contract.
SINTTIA, which has pushed for raises above the rate of inflation, reported at 7.68 percent in April, initially proposed an increase of 19.2 percent. GM countered with an offer of 3.5 percent.