United States and Mexico Announce Plan to Remediate Denials of Rights at Mexican Garment Facility

August 09, 2023

WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced a course of remediation to address denials of rights at the Industrias del Interior (INISA) facility in the state of Aguascalientes.  This announcement marks the sixth time the United States and Mexico have agreed on a formal course of remediation under the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)’s Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM).
Today’s announcement follows a request the United States sent to Mexico on June 12, 2022, asking Mexico to review whether INISA workers were being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.  Mexico accepted the request and found workers at the garment facility are experiencing a denial of rights.
“We will closely monitor this remediation plan to ensure workers at the INISA facility can freely exercise their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Today’s announcement reflects how continued collaboration between the United States and Mexico leads to concrete and effective measures to address existing labor violations and prevent new ones.”
“Through the Rapid Response mechanism, we have made it clear that companies are expected to respect the representative union and negotiate in real collective bargaining, whether in cases involving the auto sector or like today in the garment sector,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We applaud the parties for reaching this agreement, and we again recognize the strong collaboration with the Government of Mexico in protecting workers’ rights.” 
The course of remediation details a plan to remedy violations of Mexican law at the facility, and it includes measures aiming to prevent violations in the facility moving forward.
Under the course of remediation, the Government of Mexico will:

  • Ensure that INISA posts, disseminates, and abides by a public, written statement in which INISA commits to: ensure respect for the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; affirm its neutrality on workers’ union choices, and guarantee its non-interference in all union activities; and refrain from attempts to influence workers’ views on unions or union officials in any way;
  • Ensure INISA issues transparent guidelines that govern the conduct of personnel at the Facility, implement the commitments of the neutrality statement, and establish the rights provided to workers, union representatives and union advisers at the Facility;
  • Ensure INISA implements a zero-tolerance policy for violations of the guidelines and neutrality statement;
  • Ensure INISA trains all company personnel and union representatives on the company guidelines and neutrality statements;
  • Offer a telephone line and/or direct email address for workers to anonymously report any intimidation, coercion, or threats with respect to their selection of a union or union activities, or non-neutrality, or interference in internal union affairs;
  • Conduct in-person workers’ rights training for all company personnel during normal working hours and post and distribute informational material at the facility regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining; and
  • Initiate sanctions proceedings, according to Mexican law, if Mexico has information that shows violations of Mexican law, and impose appropriate sanctions against individuals, labor organizations, or companies that have been found to violate Mexican law.

The United States and Mexico agreed to establish a deadline of November 10, 2023 to complete the course of remediation.
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On May 12, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), a Mexican labor organization, and the Sindicato de Industrias del Interior, a union representing workers at the facility.  The petition alleged that INISA, which manufactures denim garments, was committing acts of employer interference by coercing workers to accept the company’s proposed collective bargaining agreement revisions and intervening in the union’s internal affairs.  The petition also alleged INISA was failing to bargain in good faith with the union. 
The ILC determined that there was sufficient, credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms.  As a result, on June 12, 2023, the United States Trade Representative submitted a request to Mexico that Mexico conduct its own review. Mexico agreed, and on July 27, 2023, concluded there are ongoing denials of the right to free association and collective bargaining at the facility.  The United States and Mexico then consulted on a course of remediation to remediate the denials of rights.
Read the full course of remediation here.
Read an unofficial courtesy Spanish translation of the full course of remediation here.