Volkswagen Mexico said in a statement on Thursday it is “profoundly disappointed” by the union’s rejection of a 9% proposed salary increase.
The raise would have been the country’s largest salary increase by an automaker in recent years and is the second time the union has voted to reject the deal.
The company said in a statement that outside interests influenced the voting process and impacted the result with false arguments.
“This result is damaging a relationship built over more than 50 years,” Volkswagen’s statement said.
The union for workers at the plant in Puebla, in central Mexico, had initially sought a raise of more than 15% to account for soaring inflation, from salaries that range from $15 to $48 per day.
“The union and company representatives can now sit down again to continue negotiating and try to reach an agreement,” Mexico’s Federal Labor Center said in a statement early Thursday after the deal was rejected with 3,450 workers voting against the deal compared with 3,225 in favor on Wednesday.
It added the Independent Union of Automotive Workers (SITIAVW), one of Mexico’s strongest independent unions, could now request a delay for a strike planned this Sept. 9 to allow time for talks, or it could alternatively go ahead with the strike action.
Volkswagen Mexico said it will follow up on this process according to the corresponding legal framework.
The factory in Puebla, around 130 km (80 miles) southeast of Mexico City, produces the German automaker’s Tiguan and Jetta models.
After the deal was first rejected, Volkswagen had said it was committed to “constructive dialogue” with the union.
The Labor Center had instructed the union to redo the vote in an effort to ensure higher turnout after workers rejected the deal in an Aug. 5 election with 70% turnout. Wednesday’s turnout reached over 97%, it said.
Source: El Financiero