Washington, D.C. - Today’s signing of a monitoring and action plan aimed at improving labor law enforcement in Honduras is another example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting labor rights in our trading partners. This landmark agreement, which was negotiated by the two countries labor ministries, with support from USTR, will help improve working conditions and respect for labor rights in Honduras while leveling the playing field for American workers. Importantly, the plan signed today goes beyond the reforms the Department of Labor called for in a report it issued earlier this year, to include additional steps that make the agreement even stronger and more sustainable.
Today’s monitoring and action plan is an example of what too often gets missed about labor enforcement efforts with our trading partners. While filing formal trade disputes is an important tool to seek changes, and one potential response to a labor submission alleging violations, there are also important collaborative steps, including action plans like this one, which allow the U.S. to seek changes working in concert with other countries.
The monitoring and action plan is a comprehensive commitment by Honduras to address legal and regulatory frameworks, undertake institutional improvements, intensify targeted enforcement, and improve transparency. Upon implementation, it will address shortcomings noted in DOL’s review concerning labor inspections, access of inspectors to enterprises, and illegal dismissals of workers, among others.