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Volkswagen Mexico Union Wants 7.5% Wage Hike to Avoid Strike

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Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Mexican union for workers at Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, are demanding a pay increase of 7.5 percent to avoid a strike tomorrow, a union official said.

The union also wants annual payments of 661 pesos ($54) for school supplies and permanent positions created for 600 temporary workers, said Arturo Monter, the union spokesman, in a telephone interview from Puebla state.

The union is threatening to strike at Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, Mexico, where the Jetta compact, the carmaker’s best-selling U.S. model, is built.

“We expect a company response during the afternoon or late night,” Monter said. ”We can change our demands if the company gives us an attractive proposal.”

Volkswagen Mexico has 15,700 workers, 11,840 of which belong to the union, according to the carmaker’s Mexico press office.

The plant, which opened in 1967, is working at full capacity and produces 2,150 units per day. From January through July the factory had output of about 295,000 vehicles, the company said. The factory produces the Jetta, Beetle and Golf models.

VW union initially wanted a 13 percent pay-and-benefit increase. The company has offered 4.5 percent.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Adriana Lopez Caraveo in Mexico City at adrianalopez@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jose Enrique Arrioja at jarrioja@bloomberg.net

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