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United States Seeks Mexico’s Review of Alleged Freedom of Association Violations at Mexican Automotive Parts Factory

06/09/2021

For the second time in one month, the United States has pursued action under USMCA’s Rapid Response Mechanism

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and United States Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh today announced that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Tridonex automotive parts facility in Matamoros, State of Tamaulipas, are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.  The request marks both the second time ever, and the second time in the past month, that the United States has requested Mexico’s review of collective bargaining rights issues under the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), demonstrating the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to labor enforcement.

“Enforcing the higher labor standards in the USMCA is a core pillar of the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade policy,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “The rapid response mechanism was created to quickly address labor disputes, and this announcement demonstrates our commitment to using the tools in the agreement to stand up for workers at home and abroad.”

“Workers’ ability to exercise their fundamental human rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining without retaliation is essential to building independent unions in Mexico,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Using the labor enforcement mechanisms in USMCA is a critical step in assuring that U.S. and Mexican workers share in the benefits of trade. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government of Mexico to resolve this matter.”

Background

The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On May 10, the ILC received a RRM petition from the AFL-CIO and other groups.  The petition alleged that workers at the Tridonex automotive parts facility in Matamoros are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.  The ILC reviews RRM petitions that it receives, and the accompanying information, within 30 days.  

Today the ILC determined, in response to the petition filed on May 10, that there is sufficient credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms.  As a result, the United States Trade Representative has submitted a request to Mexico that Mexico review whether workers at the Tridonex facility are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.  Mexico has 10 days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from today to remediate.  
  
Last month, the United States asked Mexico to review whether workers at a General Motors facility in Silao, State of Guanajuato, are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.  That request was the first time any country used the novel RRM.

A copy of the request for review can be found here.

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