Alstom raises wages in Mexico

Alstom raises wages in Mexico after talks with unions there.

Workers’ rights have been prioritised without affecting the company’s economic development, according to a press release from the Mexican government. With the mediation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (STPS), an agreement was reached on wage reviews between the Alstom railway company and Section 200 of the National Union of Mining, Metal, Steel and Similar Workers of the Mexican Republic, based in Ciudad Sahagún, Hidalgo.

In the presence of STPS chief Marath Bolaños López, the agreement was ratified on Wednesday by the leader of the Mining Union, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, and the general director of Alstom Mexico, Maite Ramos, in which a 7% wage increase was accepted, among other benefits, thus putting an end to the strike call set by the workers.

Bolaños López stressed that the importance of dialogue is that it leads to an improvement for both workers and companies. “Labour rights are protected to improve living conditions, but also to facilitate economic activities,” he added.

He acknowledged the willingness of both the company and the union to dialogue and address the concerns of both business and workers in a “social dialogue” that has enabled the progress and solution reflected in this agreement.

At the event, held at the STPS headquarters, Maite Ramos thanked the Ministry for its support, mediation and promptness in addressing the issue. “This has shown that when everyone is on the same side, agreements can be reached,” the official added.

“It is fair to recognise that it was always sought not to favour one side or the other, but that there was indeed a benefit for all and that a fair agreement was reached, especially for the workers, as far as possible,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, leader of the Mining Union, acknowledged the mediation of the STPS to facilitate the reconciliation of different points of view between the company and the workers.

“At Alstom we have the most important and best skilled workers in the world, welders, mechanics, electricians, and we want them to be happy and not be taken to other companies. So we came to a good agreement, which was even approved, for the first time in the history of Section 200, unanimously,” he explained.

Finally, Alejandro Salafranca Vázquez, head of the STPS Decent Work Unit, who led the negotiations together with the head of the agency’s Institutional Strategy Unit, Rodrigo Ramírez Quintana, said that both sides knew what was at stake, what the company and the industrial project meant for sustaining the railroad, that “in this atmosphere of shared thinking, ideas and future, the open, frank and uncompromising dialogue with which the agreement was reached was very simple”.

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