VW strike disrupts production of Beetle

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More than 12,000 workers at a Volkwagen plant in Mexico went on strike at the weekend to demand salary increases.

Union leaders are hopeful that the walkout, which represents 80 per cent of the workforce at the plant that builds the Beetle model for export around the world, will soon be resolved.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Salazar, secretary general of the Independent Union of Volkswagen Workers, said it intended to meet Volkswagen management at the Labour Department in Mexico yesterday. The union has asked for a 21 per cent salary increase for workers, who earn an average of $30 (£21) a day. Speaking at the plant in central Puebla, Mr Salazar said: "Tomorrow we could see some important advances. We didn't want a strike. We want a solution as soon as possible."

Talks between Volkswagen and the union broke down on Thursday when the union voted to reject a 5.5 per cent salary increase. Volkswagen plans to ask the Labour Department to declare the strike void. "We are negotiating the salaries, but 21 per cent is impossible," said Franciso Bada Sanz, vice-president of the firm's board. (AP)