For the twelfth time in 2023, and seventeenth time overall, the United States has sought Mexico’s review under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.
WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced today that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico facility in El Marqués in the state of Quéretaro are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, including through the company firing workers in retaliation for union activity, making coercive statements that interfere with workers’ rights, and denying access to the facility for union-related activity. The United States has also suspended liquidation of tariffs on goods from the facility. The request, which was made in response to a petition, marks the seventeenth time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“The United States is building a strong record of utilizing the rapid response mechanism to protect workers, when we have evidence a company has violated their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We look forward to working closely with the Government of Mexico to resolve the violations of workers’ rights at Autoliv.”
“The rights of workers to freely choose a union and collectively bargain are cornerstones of union democracy. We will continue to monitor to ensure that employers do not interfere with those rights or retaliate against workers for exercising them,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We look forward to working closely with the government of Mexico to remedy the denial of rights in this case.”
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On October 19, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from the 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” (“Transformación Sindical”), a Mexican union. The petition alleged that Autoliv dismissed workers in retaliation for undertaking union organizing activity, interfered in union affairs, and denied Transformación Sindical access to the facility. 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 Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico are being denied the right to freedom of 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.
A copy of the request for review can be found here.
A copy of the letter to the Secretary of the Treasury can be found here.
Information about previous requests can be found here.