Mexican truck maker Consorcio G. Grupo Dina, S.A. de C.V. has negotiated a 15-day extension of a strike deadline originally scheduled by its workers for February 7th at its plant in Sahagun City, Hidalgo, Mexico. Production line workers at Dina’s plant now plan to go on strike March 20 if the issue of wage increases cannot be settled.

Dina claims it is unable to grant a 40% wage increase demanded by its workers because of the company’s critical financial condition, precipitated by Western Star Truck’s decision to cancel its contract to purchase 9,000 trucks over a 3-year period.

DaimlerChrysler’s heavy truck subsidiary, Portland-based Freightliner LLC, purchased Western Star last year for $453 million and cancelled the Dina contract to build a series of Class 6 and 7 medium-duty trucks.

Dina executives also said current economic trends prevent the company’s ability to offer wage increases to its workers. The company cited: high interest rates and inflation; economic conditions in Mexico and Argentina, among Dina’s primary markets, which have experienced significant volatility in recent years, including devaluation of the peso; and the outcome of its lawsuit against Western Star for breach of contract, as there is no assurance that the eventual outcome will be beneficial to the company, said Dina.