General Motors, SINTTIA Reach Deal After Salary AgreementBy Antonio Gozain | Thu, 05/12/2022 - 14:21
The Independent Syndicate of National Workers (SINTTIA) signed the first collective labor agreement with General Motors in the Silao, Guanajuato plant, following two elections to legitimize the collective bargaining agreement, a complaint from the US government to Mexico and an additional vote to represent the workers.
“This is a new, historic achievement after an important organizational process and a year of struggle since the first failed election; the second election, in which the spurious contract of the CTM won, and the constitution of SINTTIA, from the very base of the workers and their resounding victory in the February votes that legitimized it as the undisputed union representation,” said SINTTIA in a statement.
While General Motors did not address details further, the automaker said it had concluded negotiations with SINTTIA, which became the first union to make full use of the Labor Reform in Mexico. The 2019 reform requires union organizations to submit all decisions on labor matters to the vote of workers, in addition to the legitimacy of existing contracts.
In August 2021, workers at GM’s pickup plant in Silao dissolved their active contract with the Mexican Worker Confederation (CTM), which held the contract since the opening of the plant in 1995 and has been historically aligned with the PRI political party, as reported by MBN. The dissolution of the contract with CTM represented the successful conclusion of the first labor complaint under USMCA’s Rapid Response Mechanism.
In September 2021, CTM lost against the Autonomous Confederation of Workers and Employees (CATEM) in Nissan’s Aguascalientes plant. These votings represented an “inflection point” in Mexico’s labor democratic life, said Pedro Haces, General Secretary, CATEM.
The agreement is considered a high-profile test case for USMCA’s goal of reducing the vast wage gap between Mexican workers and their US counterparts. "The new collective contract improves labor conditions on all levels. The agreed deal includes an economic package of salary increases and economic benefits that is above inflation," said SINTTIA.
Initially, SINTTIA proposed a 19.2 percent wage raise, citing rising inflation in Mexico, which General Motors countered with an offer of 3.5 percent. The union did not provide further details about the final wage deal, as inflation in the country accelerated to 7.68 percent in April, its highest level since January 2001.
A vote for workers to approve the contract will likely take place around the end of May, Alejandra Morales, Secretary General, SINTTIA told Reuters.