Walmart de Mexico open to talks as worker strike looms

Feb. 26 (UPI) — Walmart said Tuesday it’s open to labor talks after a union representing 8,000 workers threatened to strike by next week unless salaries and conditions improved.

The unions, seeking a 20 percent pay increase, have complained about unpaid overtime, unjustified firings and discrimination against pregnant employees. They have also asked for investigation of sexual harassment concerns.

Unions representing the workers have threatened a walkout if concerns aren’t addressed by March 5.

«Reinvesting in the salaries and benefits of our associates is one of our priorities and we see as positive the opening of the labor sector,» the company told Reforma.

Walmart added that its Mexico stores, about 2,500 locations, are operating regularly. The workers represented by local unions account for about 4.5 percent of Walmart’s total payroll.

Walmart de Mexico officials did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.

Walmart’s first store outside of the United States opened in Mexico in 1991 — A Sam’s Club in Mexico City. Also known as Walmex, the company is the biggest retail chain in Mexico.

Walmart de Mexico and employees have had labor disputes in the past. One dispute in May 2017 involved to revenue distribution.

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