WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh today announced that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Teksid Hierro de México (Teksid Hierro) facility in Frontera, State of Coahuila, are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining. The request, which was made in response to a petition filed under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Implementation Act, marks the fourth time that the United States has requested Mexico’s review of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights issues under the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM).
“We continue to use the USMCA's Rapid Response Labor Mechanism to defend workers' rights and remain committed to working closely with the Mexican government to do so,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “When our trade policy helps to ensure that workers in all countries can exercise their rights, it helps drive a race to the top.”
“The U.S. Department of Labor will continue working with our trade partners and the private sector to secure freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “These fundamental principles are the foundation of the Biden-Harris administration’s worker-centered trade agenda. We look forward to continuing our productive collaboration with the Mexican government to protect workers’ rights to choose their union representation freely and without interference.”
In connection with the U.S. request, Ambassador Tai has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the liquidation for all unliquidated entries of goods from the Teksid Hierro facility.
USMCA’s Labor Chapter contains a bilateral annex that requires Mexico to have specific laws necessary for the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. The annex mirrors key provisions of Mexico’s historic 2019 labor law reform. The first-of-its-kind Rapid Response Labor Mechanism provides for expedited enforcement of collective bargaining and free association rights at the facility level.
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On May 5, the ILC received a RRM petition from 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), a Mexican union. The petition alleged that workers at the Teksid Hierro automotive parts facility in Frontera 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.
The ILC determined, in response to the petition, 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 Teksid Hierro facility are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining. Mexico has ten days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from today to complete the review.
Last month, the United States submitted a request for review to Mexico on a Panasonic automotive parts facility. Information about that request can be found here.
A copy of the request for review concerning the Teksid facility can be found here.
A copy of the letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen concerning goods from the Teksid facility can be found here.