WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced resolution to the situation at a Grupo Yazaki auto components facility in León, Mexico which was brought to the attention of the U.S. government through a petition. This announcement comes after United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai requested the Government of Mexico to review the matter under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s (USMCA) Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM).
“I am thrilled by this positive outcome for workers at Grupo Yazaki. This resolution is yet another example of the Biden-Harris Administration’s steadfast commitment to defending labor rights and putting workers first, especially in the autos sector,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Working with Mexico to swiftly resolve concerns raised by Mexican workers through the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism is a key part of promoting fair competition and a race to the top.”
“Today’s resolution has ensured that workers at Yazaki’s 58 locations in Mexico are aware of their labor rights,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We will continue to work closely with the Mexican government to find creative paths so that every worker’s voice is heard, respected, and valued, and workers fully understand their union voting rights.”
Actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to address the matter include:
- Grupo Yazaki posting a neutrality statement on its North American website and distributing physical copies across its facilities in Mexico, including at Planta León, affirming its commitment to safeguarding the right to freedom of association and sharing an internal hotline for workers to submit concerns related to their labor rights;
- The Government of Mexico and the International Labor Organization delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the facility for workers, for company representatives, and union representatives;
- The Government of Mexico posting a statement in the Planta León facility explaining that dissemination of misinformation during union democracy votes is considered an irregularity and should be reported to government authorities.
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On July 5, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Casa Obrera del Bajío, a Mexican labor organization. The petition alleged a number of irregularities that occurred during the facility’s March 31 “legitimization” vote in which workers voted on whether the existing collective bargaining agreement should be upheld. 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 was sufficient credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms. As a result, the United States Trade Representative submitted a request to Mexico to review the matter. The Government of Mexico declined the request but worked with the facility to ensure no ongoing denial of rights was taking place.
As a result of the above actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to resolve the issue, the United States agrees that there is no ongoing denial of rights. Ambassador Tai’s letter directing the Secretary of the Treasury to resume liquidation of entries of goods from the Grupo Yazaki Planta León facility is available here.