GM’s Mexican plant union says agreement reached on new contract

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The union at a General Motors assembly plant in northern Mexico has reached an agreement for a new contract with the company that it says improves conditions for workers, a goal of the pact free trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The Independent Auto Workers Union, known by its Spanish initials as Sinttia, won a workers’ vote in February to oust the old guard and pro-corporate Confederation of Mexican Workers, the CTM, which has long dominated the factory.

Sinttia said in a statement on Tuesday that the new contract “improves working conditions in every way,” including above-inflation pay increases and other benefits. The union did not provide details of the contract. The agreement also establishes that the union will have a greater voice on behalf of workers in the future.

The contract will be subject to a secret ballot vote by the factory workers.

The U.S. government filed a labor lawsuit last year under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Pact after the Old Guard union interfered in an early union vote. Under changes to Mexican labor law required by the USMCA, workers can now in theory vote against pro-company former union bosses. This allowed Sinttia to emerge victorious from the February vote.

Pro-company unions have kept wages low for decades in Mexican factories and drained manufacturing jobs from the United States