United States Seeks Mexico's Review of Alleged Denial of Workers' Rights at Unique Fabricating

March 06, 2023

For the second time in 2023, and the seventh time overall, the United States invokes the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today announced that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at a Unique Fabricating facility in Santiago de Querétaro, State of Querétaro, are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.  The request, which was made in response to a petition, marks the seventh time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). 
“The USMCA's Rapid Response Labor Mechanism is an important tool to defend workers' rights and helps us advance a worker-centered trade policy around the world,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.  “We look forward to working with the Government of Mexico to promptly address these issues as we pursue a shared goal of raising labor standards and creating a race to the top in trade.”
“Labor provisions in the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement and Mexico’s 2019 labor reform are intended to address allegations like those cited in this case,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “The government of Mexico has indicated their support for full implementation of the labor reform. We look forward to working together to address the issues in this case.”

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 Unique Fabricating facility. 
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On February 2, the ILC received an RRM petition from Mexican union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Transformación, Construcción, Automotriz, Agropecuaria, Plásticos y de la Industria en General, del Comercio y Servicios Similares, Anexos y Conexos del Estado de Querétaro, “Ángel Castillo Reséndiz” (“the Transformation Union”).  The petition alleged that workers at one of the Unique Fabricating automotive components facilities in Santiago de Querétaro 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 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 Unique 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.

This is the seventh time the United States has sent Mexico a request to review a situation at a Mexican facility. 
Request for review
Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury
Additional information on the USMCA Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism