GM says it made “important progress,” during Thursday’s contract negotiations with the independent union representing workers at its Silao plant in Mexico.
The SINTTIA union is currently seeking a new contract that would include a 19.2 percent wage increase for its members. This would bring the hourly wage at the facility to 77.15 pesos ($3.81) an hour, however GM previously countered this request with a proposed 3.5 percent increase, which would be less than half the current rate of inflation.
This week’s meeting was the first face-to-face GM had with the union after negotiations between the two entities stalled on April 12th. In a statement provided to Reuters, GM said Thursday’s meeting was “productive,” and that “both parties showed the commitment we have for the workers of GM Silao.”
Hector de la Cueva, an adviser to SINTTIA from a Mexican labor rights group, told Reuters that GM took a “less aggressive,” approach during this past week’s meeting, but declined to discuss what kind of wage increases were discussed. The two parties plan to meet again on May 5th as GM looks to reach a deal before the May 31st strike deadline.
Workers at the GM Silao plant voted in the independent SINTTIA union earlier this year, ousting the controversial Miguel Trujillo López union, which employees said did not campaign on behalf of their interests. The results of this initial vote were called into question after Mexican labor officials discovered irregularities in the voting process that would have swayed the results in favor of the existing union, including discarded ballots. A second vote was then arranged with help from American labor officials via the special provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which ended in a victory for SINTTIA.