United States Announces Successful Resolution of Rapid Response Mechanism Labor Matter at Asiaway Automotive Components México, S. de R.L. de C.V.

February 16, 2024

WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced the successful resolution of a USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) matter at Asiaway Automotive Components Mexico in San Luis Potosí , an automotive components manufacturer where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. After the United States requested Mexico’s review of the matter, Mexico and the company took several actions to address violations of labor law, including reinstating and paying backpay to a wrongly dismissed worker and correcting other employer interference in union activities.
“Today’s announcement exemplifies the important role the RRM plays in protecting workers rights by helping workers freely conduct union activities without fear of employer reprisals or termination,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We are pleased to have worked with the Government of Mexico to address these issues at Asiaway and look forward to continued collaboration and engagement.”

“Workers have the right to freely associate with and advocate for the labor union of their choice without facing retaliation,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We applaud the government of Mexico’s efforts at Asiaway to establish a healthy atmosphere that empowers workers to organize and fully exercise these fundamental labor rights.”

Actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to address the matter include:

  • Asiaway reinstating and providing backpay to a worker that had been dismissed in retaliation for their union activity;
  • Asiaway adopting and posting a neutrality statement and company guidelines on freedom of association and collective bargaining, including a zero-tolerance policy for violations of the policy;
  • Asiaway distributing copies of the neutrality statement and explaining the contents of the document individually to each worker;
  • Asiaway delivering trainings to management on company policies and guidelines that encompassed Asiaway’s commitment to respecting workers’ right of collective bargaining and freedom of association; and
  • The Government of Mexico delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the facility for all personnel.

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 labor setting that is free from interference or intimidation.

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 union, and the International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network (ILAW Network). The petition alleged Asiaway dismissed a worker in retaliation for undertaking union activity.  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. 
A copy of the request for review can be found here.

A copy of the letter to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury can be found here.
Information about previous requests can be found here.