WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced the successful resolution of a USMCA facility-specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) petition regarding the situation at Aerotransportes Mas de Carga (Mas Air), a Mexico City-based airline that provides cargo transportation service, where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.
“These actions demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s continuing commitment to protecting workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights across a wide range of facilities, including those in the services sector,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We commend the Government of Mexico and Mas Air for their efforts to address this matter swiftly.”
“The Department of Labor commends the government of Mexico, ASPA petitioners and Mas Air for the constructive collaboration in addressing the denial of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at Mas Air, the first resolution of an RRM petition in the services sector,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “With the Mexican government overseeing the upcoming secret ballot vote at Mas Air, we are confident pilots will be able to exercise their right to choose a representative union freely.”
Actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to address the matter include:
- Mas Air reinstating and providing backpay to a pilot who had been dismissed in retaliation for union activity, and paying severance to other pilots who had been dismissed in retaliation for their union activity but declined reinstatement
- Mas Air adopting and posting a neutrality statement and company guidelines on freedom of association and collective bargaining, including a zero-tolerance policy for violations thereof;
- Mas Air sharing an internal hotline for workers to anonymously submit complaints regarding violations of the company guidelines; and
- The Government of Mexico delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the facility for pilots.
Additionally, the company has committed to deliver trainings on company policies and guidelines to management and union leaders. The company also committed to a ensuring a neutral and free environment during an upcoming vote in which pilots will choose which union will represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining. The United States will continue to closely monitor the situation at the facility and work with the Government of Mexico to help ensure that workers are free to exercise their rights in a climate that is free from intimidation, retaliation, and coercion.
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On July 31, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Asociación Sindical de Pilotos Aviadores de México (ASPA), a Mexican union. The petition alleged Mas Air engaged in harassment, intimidation, and retaliation against workers because of their union affiliation. 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 accepted the request, found denials of rights, and worked with the facility to take remediation action within their review period.
As a result of the above actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico, the United States will not be taking any further action on this matter at this time.
A copy of the request for review can be found here.
Information about previous requests can be found here.