This coming Friday marks a significant turning point for the ongoing strike at Audi’s facility in Puebla. Over 4,000 employees will be casting their votes on the company’s proposition of a global 7 percent wage increase. The outcome of this vote will determine whether the workers will continue their protest, which has been symbolized by the red and black flags they hoisted two weeks prior.
The voting process is scheduled to take place today, with the polling stations open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the BUAP University Cultural Complex.
The Independent Union of Audi Mexico Workers (Sitaudi), under the leadership of César Orta Briones, has disclosed that the future of the strike hinges on the 4,159 workers’ votes. The voting process will be free, personal, direct, and confidential. The consultation on the review agreement will be closely monitored by six verifiers from the Federal Center for Conciliation and Labor Registration.
In a bid to end the strike, Audi has issued a statement to the workers of the assembly plant located in San José Chiapa – where the Audi Q5 model is manufactured and primarily exported to countries such as the United States, Germany, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Japan. The automaker has proposed to extend the contracts of temporary staff to 12 months.
However, the union’s leadership has pointed out that this offer is not explicitly mentioned in any contractual clause. Therefore, if the company does not fulfill this pledge, the workers will not be able to legally demand such an offer.
Additionally, Audi has promised that if their proposal secures approval through a simple majority vote, they will implement a retroactive payment dating back to January 1 in accordance with the new salary increase. The company also pledges to secure the employment of the three shift teams and the 1,300 workers who were previously at risk of losing their jobs in past negotiations.
The union has warned that if the proposed increase is not accepted, the strike will persist, and negotiations will resume. However, they cautioned that
The strike will continue to impact your personal finances, the financial standing of the company, and the overall state’s industry.
In the event that the majority of the workers reject the new proposal, both parties will have to go back to the negotiation table and rework the agreement until it receives the workers’ approval. The union is demanding an overall increase of 15 percent, which includes a 10 percent salary hike and a 5 percent increase in benefits.