VW, close to complying with USMCA wage criteria: Sitiavw

Note published in Milenio, Negocios [Business] section by Verónica López.
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The Volkswagen de México company, located in Puebla, is close to complying with the wage criteria established in the United States-Mexico-Canada trade Agreement (USMCA).

The legal representative of the Volkswagen Independent Union of Automotive Industry Workers (Sitiavw), Arturo Blázquez Guevara, acknowledged that during the course of this year’s negotiations with the employer to reach a global increase of 5.46 percent, of which 3.62 percent was a direct salary increase and 1.84 percent was an increase in benefits, the topic of the requirements established in the trade agreement was discussed.

“It is a topic that came up during the negotiation. Part of the demands made by this union representation was, precisely, that the Volkswagen workers are at the highest end of the automotive industry and this allows Volkswagen to have fewer complications to reach and comply with the goal established by the United States and Canada of conducting a process to reach the averages established in the USMCA”, he said.

At a press conference in which the Secretary General of Sitiavw, José Juan Hernández López, presented details of the salary agreement reached on the morning of August 18, Blázquez Guevara pointed out that, in the same manner in which it is sought that the region components of automobiles grow from 40 to 65 percent, the workers’ salary should also increase.

“Automobile components will gradually grow from 40 to 65 percent, these automobiles should go together with components such as an average wage of 16 dollars for the workers. This is not an easy road to travel, you will recall that Mexico has gone through a process in which it was accused of labor dumping because of low salaries”, he stated.

He pointed out that the global salary increase of 5.46 percent for more than seven thousand Volkswagen workers goes part of the way in complying with the requirements of the new trade agreement that came into force this year.

“USMCA demands even establish that suppliers reach that salary level. It was a matter of salary, and today’s agreement between the union and the company goes in line with that road to start complying with that scheme. Volkswagen is the company that comes closest to complying with this standard”, he said.

For his part, the Secretary General of the Sitiavw, José Juan Hernández López, explained that, in spite of the problems created by the covid-19 pandemic, the panorama for the automotive industry is positive and he pointed out that they will continue with the fight to improve the wages of their fellow workers.

The “inheritance of positions”, that is, that each worker, upon reaching 60 years of age and opting for retirement, can leave his job position to an immediate family member (children, grandchildren and nephews/nieces) was a key part of the negotiation with the company and has been set forth in clause 85 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement,