The competition for employees—both finding and retaining them—is nudging up labor costs. The going rate ranges from under $1 an hour at some parts factories to nearly $3 an hour at the large assembly facilities. That is well above Mexico’s minimum wage of 73 pesos, or $4 a day. Still, it is too low to attract the quantity and quality of workers needed to fill the surging number of openings. Retention and retraining programs are becoming the norm as are bonuses for employees who agree to stay in place, especially those with valued skills. Some factories are luring recruits with perks such as a new cowboy boots. Vacancies are becoming the norm.
Auto-industry investment in the country accelerated in the 1990s after the signing of Nafta. In the lead were Detroit car makers and parts suppliers looking to avoid high labor costs at their unionized plants in the U.S.
Classroom discussion questions:
1.Why did so many auto manufacturers select Mexico?
2. What can OM managers do to retain employees?