For the tenth time in 2023, and fifteenth 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 Asiaway Automotive Components Mexico facility in San Luis Potosi, which manufactures automotive components, are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The request, which was made in response to a petition, marks the fifteenth time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“Freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental cornerstones of the USMCA and Mexico’s labor reform. Employers can no longer choose the unions with whom they work, and must respect workers’ rights to select and join the union of their choice,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Today’s action underscores the United States’ ongoing commitment to using the RRM to support workers’ rights of organizing and joining the union of their choice. We look forward to working closely with the Government of Mexico to resolve the issues present in this matter.”
“The allegation of retaliatory dismissal for engaging in protected union activity is quite serious and requires urgent attention,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We expect to continue our close collaboration with the Mexican government to resolve this matter.”
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On September 20, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from La Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana (LSOM), an independent Mexican union, and the International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network (ILAW Network). The petition alleged that Asiaway dismissed a worker in retaliation for undertaking union organizing activity. 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 Asiaway Automotive Components Mexico facility 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.