NAFTA eh? Turns out that America's trade policy with its southern neighbor didn't quite work out as planned. ""The pressure has not been to raise the Mexican wages up, it's been to push the U.S. wages down," Ben Davis, the director of the AFL-CIO Solidarity office in Mexico City tells The Detroit News. True dat. "Mexican auto unions are taking a cue from U.S. labor leaders by offering two-tier hiring systems and salary cuts that bring already low wages down to near-Chinese levels." Taking a cue? Or, dare I say it, taking pay-offs? "Wage concessions were apparently key to convincing Ford Motor Co. to direct many of the 4,500 new jobs involved in building Fiestas to the Ford plant in Cuautitlan. Union leaders at the plant told the Associated Press they had agreed to cut wages for new hires to about half of the current wage of $4.50 per hour." $2.25 an hour? Yes. Under NAFTA, Mexico is only obliged to pay workers the national minimum wage: $5 a day. ""We need to be more competitive," said Ford union leader Juan Jose Sosa Arreola. "That's the truth. That's a reality." Once again, the truth hurts. Oh, and five Ford execs banked $60m last year. And Bill Ford's deferred millions await the fruit of Mexican labor.
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