Negotiations Stall at VU Manufacturing; Union Calls for Strike
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Negotiations Stall at VU Manufacturing; Union Calls for Strike

Photo by:   Emir Krasnić
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Rodrigo Andrade By Rodrigo Andrade | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Mon, 02/20/2023 - 08:51

Members of the Democratic Union of the League of Mexican Workers, also known as La Liga, called for a strike on Feb. 25 against VU Manufacturing, alleging the company is stalling negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. 

Pablo Franco, Legal Representative, League of Mexican Workers,  says that the manufacturing company has only put forward one proposal that was rejected by the union. The current negotiations are at a standstill over salary as the workers “have not received any more proposals from the company, only the general minimum wage plus MX$3 (US$0.16), which is unacceptable,” Franco told El Economista.

Franco alleges that the company is trying to use the laws created before the latest labor reform. "The local court refuses to summon us to a conciliatory hearing with the company to formally carry out the conciliation or in any case ratify the strike. The Court has twice asked us to modify the date of the strike, we understand that this is part of a policy of the state of Coahuila against the right to strike," denounces Franco.

In the event that there are no negotiations between the two parties, the company may be subject to tariff sanctions by the US government under the legal framework of the USMCA.

VU Manufacturing underwent another USMCA rapid response investigation, which alleged that the company favored representatives of the Mexican Worker Confederation (CTM), as reported by MBN. In mid-2022, workers argued that the company had denied them the right to form labor unions to negotiate their contracts. However, after the Federal Center for Conciliation and Labor Registration conducted an election for union representation, La Liga emerged as the winner with 186 votes against the 110 votes CTM received.

As a result, the US Inter-Agency Labor Committee (ILC) determined that there was enough credible evidence of workers' rights being denied, and the USTR requested Mexico to review the matter. As the election results showed that negotiation conditions were in place to respect the rights of workers affiliated with La Liga and all VU Manufacturing employees, the ILC decided to settle the issue.

Photo by:   Emir Krasnić

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