Commentary: Mexican Workers Deserve Better Than This

Mexico's workers are finally starting to see real wage improvement--something they've been waiting for since the 1994 peso devaluation. With the economy going strong, unionized workers at Ford Motor, General Motors, and Nissan Motor plants in Mexico have extracted wage increases of 17% to 20% this year. So employees at Volkswagen's Puebla factory, the only one in the world that manufactures the popular New Beetle, were dismayed when management offered only a 9.2% hike --in line with next year's projected inflation rate. They demanded 35%, and on Aug. 18, they went on strike. On Aug. 23, the government ruled that because the strike didn't start before the contract expired, it was illegal. (It began one minute after.)

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