After much negotiation, General Motors has given workers at its largest factory in Mexico a raise that comes out to 25 cents an hour, on average. This bumps up the average factory worker’s pay from $3 an hour to $3.25 for many at the GM Silao plant, where the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are made.
SINTTIA, the labor union representing Silao’s 6,500 workers, said the new contract guarantees an 8.5-percent pay raise (link in Spanish.) That number falls short of the 19.2-percent raise workers asked for, but it is higher than GM’s 3.5-percent counteroffer.
The 8.5-percent increase is slightly higher than inflation in Mexico, which hit 7.68 percent in April according to Bloomberg. SINTTIA had cited inflation in the country as the main reason behind its double-digit request, and GM can now say it did more than just counter inflation — even if it’s by less than one percentage point.
With this latest raise, the average pay for GM factory workers making trucks in Mexico will go from around $25 to $27 per day. That’s in contrast to GM workers in the U.S., who make anywhere from $18 to $32 per hour.
But the new labor contract is nonetheless being hailed as a landmark because it includes provisions that older contracts lacked. Among these are performance bonuses of $79 issued every quarter, along with incentives that decrease workers’ taxable income. And to sweeten the deal, there’s now a guarantee that workers will get the day off on December 24th, for Christmas Eve.
The new contract also includes a commitment to safeguard against workplace harassment and sexual assault, but it stops short of codifying protocols for the response when such violations occur.
SINTTIA says the incentives, bonuses and salary bump add up to a 13.8-percent global raise for workers; whatever math the labor union uses to come to that conclusion is beyond me. But I am happy for these workers who will finally get the day off on Christmas Eve while earning two more dollars per day as they build GM’s most profitable pickup trucks.