The workers at the Mexican plant of multinational company Honda began an indefinite work stoppage on 16 April after the company announced a reduction in this year’s state mandated profit sharing bonus (RPTU).
In an initial meeting, management offered a profit share of 300 Mexican pesos (less than US$25) per worker for the year 2012 and a separate bonus of 8,500 Mexican pesos (US$630). This compares with profit sharing of 67,500 Mexican pesos (US$5,500) for 2011 and 48,000 Mexican pesos (US$3,900) for 2010. However, production and sales were higher in 2012 than in 2011. In fact 45,390 CRVs were produced in 2011 versus 65,256 in 2012.
In addition management of Honda Mexico is refusing to negotiate with the union that the workers want to be represented by, Union of United Honda of Mexico Workers (STUHM), and management continues to negotiate with and recognize the protection contract union called SETEAMI.
“Our response to this offer is disbelief,” writes the STUHM union in its press release, adding, “the profit sharing should similarly increase – it should at least increase by 60 per cent. Obviously, there is no believable argument to justify the company denying workers a fair profit sharing payment.”
STUHM reports that the workers were so upset by the company’s announcement that an immediate consensus was reached to stop working on the day shift, and that those on second and third shifts would join the strike later. Already 1,500 workers of the approximately 2,400 at the plant have stopped work.
“We believe that the strike is necessary and legitimate in the fight for our workplace rights. We invite you to join us at the plant in El Salto on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 at dawn to be witness to the awakening of thousands of workers in response to management constantly attacking our rights,” writes STUHM.
IndustriALL Global Union is closely following Honda’s actions in Mexico where a worker died at work last month, on which the company has remained silent to the concern of the workers.
IndustriALL demands that Honda workers in Mexico are allowed to exercise their right to decide freely and democratically which union they want to represent them, without any interference from the company.