U.S. unions are wary as the auto industry eyes Mexico for growth

A Ford F-150 cab being welded at a plant in Dearborn, Mich. The company begins union negotiations today. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)
A Ford F-150 cab being welded at a plant in Dearborn, Mich. The company begins union negotiations today. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

By Bill Vlasic / New York Times

The unlikely comeback of the American auto industry has generated tens of thousands of new jobs at Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

But as the United Automobile Workers union enters talks on new contracts with the Detroit car companies, perhaps its biggest worry is losing vehicle production to lower-wage nations like Mexico.

The rapid growth of the Mexican auto industry has been a growing source of concern for the union, particularly because many of the products built south of the border are destined to be sold in American showrooms.

Auto plants in Mexico are on track to export about 70 percent of their production this year to the United States, according to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association trade group.

And automakers are stepping up their investments further to take better advantage of cheaper labor costs and Mexico’s attractive trade environment, made possible by pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/business/wariness-as-auto-industry-eyes-mexico-for-growth.html

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