Carmaker Audi’s Mexico union workers strike over wage increase

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – Union workers at Audi’s Mexico unit went on strike on Wednesday after failing to reach an agreement with the carmaker for a new contract, the company’s union leader said, with the company saying the two sides are far apart on a wage increase.
Approximately 1,000 workers protested outside the Audi plant in the central state of Puebla, shouting, “We are workers, not beggars.”
Audi said the union declined its offer for a 6.5% salary raise and asked for a 15.5% increase. Union leader Cesar Orta did not immediately confirm the figures.

The carmaker said in a statement it remained open to dialogue, but said a 15.5% increase was “beyond any comparative parameter.”
Last year, the carmaker and the Independent Union of Audi Mexico Workers (SITAUDI) agreed to a 9.4% salary raise, one of the highest automaker wage hikes in Mexico in recent years.
“We are going to continue negotiating and will bring agreements to consultation only when we consider that they really dignify workers,” Orta told supporters outside the Audi plant in Puebla.
Audi, a unit of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), opens new tab, employs 5,000 workers in the plant, according to company data.
Reporting by Imelda Medina and Raul Cortes Fernandez; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Anthony Esposito, Sarah Morland, Aurora Ellis and Leslie Adler