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United States Announces Successful Resolution of Rapid Response Labor Mechanism Matter at Auto Parts Facility in Frontera, Mexico

August 16, 2022

Washington– The United States and Mexico today announced the successful resolution of a USMCA facility-specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) petition regarding the situation at the Teksid Hierro de México, S.A. de C.V. (Teksid Hierro) facility in Frontera, Mexico where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.

"This resolution is yet another example of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to defending the rights of workers.  This successful outcome demonstrates that we are creating a more competitive North American economy where workers and unions can operate on a level playing field," said Ambassador Tai.  “The actions announced today reflect the shared intent of the United States and Mexico to ensure that trade benefits workers on both sides of the border.  We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Government of Mexico to defend the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

“The labor and trade policies of the Biden-Harris administration continue to make workers’ interests a priority, and the outcome at the Teksid auto parts plant shows the benefits of these policies,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “The measures taken after invoking the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Rapid Response Mechanism will help end eight years of rights violations against Teksid workers and advance their freedom of association and ability to collectively bargain. We appreciate our collaboration with Mexico’s Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare in the successful closure of the Rapid Response Mechanism petition and will continue to monitor the situation with our Mexican counterparts.”

Today’s announcement follows the request for review under the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism that the United States sent to Mexico on June 6, 2022, in response to concerns at the facility.  Mexico conducted a review in response to the request and facilitated constructive discussions between the company and the independent union to remediate the situation.

Actions taken by the facility include:

  • Providing the independent union with access to the facility for the purpose of carrying out worker representation;
  • Providing a designated office space within the company’s facility to the independent union, in order to facilitate the representation of workers within the facility;
  • Payment of union dues withheld from workers and owed to the independent union;
  • Reinstating and offering back pay to 36 workers; as well as compensation to an additional worker, each of whom was allegedly terminated for participating in a protest against the company; and
  • Issuing a neutrality statement, as well as a statement that the only valid collective bargaining agreement is the one deposited at the federal level.

The Government of Mexico will continue to monitor the situation at the facility.

Background

The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  In May 2022, the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos, Siderúgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (SNTMMSSRM) filed a RRM petition concerning Teksid Hierro, an automotive parts producer in Frontera, Mexico. 

The petition alleged that workers at the Teksid Hierro automotive parts facility are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.  The ILC reviews RRM petitions and accompanying information that it receives within 30 days.  The ILC determined, in response to the petition, that there was sufficient credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms.  The United States Trade Representative then submitted a request to Mexico to review the matter.  The Government of Mexico agreed there was a denial of rights and worked to remediate the situation.

As a result of the above actions taken by the facility and Mexico to resolve the action, the United States agrees that there is no ongoing denial of rights.  The course of remediation is available here.  Ambassador Tai’s letter directing the Secretary of the Treasury to resume liquidation of entries of goods from the Teksid Hierro facility is here.

 

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