United States Announces Successful Resolution of Rapid Response Mechanism Labor Matter at Fujikura Automotive Mexico

February 13, 2024

WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced the successful resolution of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) matter at the Fujikura Automotive Mexico facility in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, which was brought to the attention of the U.S. government through a petition.   After the United States requested that the Government of Mexico review the matter, Mexico conducted an investigation and undertook multiple remediation steps to ensure workers’ rights are protected at the facility.

“Through the RRM, we have advanced the fundamental right of workers to freely organize and support the union of their choice as enshrined in the USMCA.  This includes being free from discrimination by future employers for that union activity,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “I commend the Government of Mexico and Fujikura for their work to swiftly address this matter and their continued work to ensure former VU workers can find new employment and receive proper severance for their prior employment.”

“We commend the Government of Mexico’s investigation into violations of workers’ freedom of association rights in the Fujikura plant and other workplaces in Piedras Negras,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “Employment discrimination, including blacklisting based on protected union activity, is contrary to the goals of the labor reform and the fair exercise of workers’ rights. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Mexican government on combating anti-union discrimination in all forms and securing remediation for workers who are victims of such practices.” 
Actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to address the matter include:

  • Fujikura posting and disseminating a neutrality statement and related guidelines at the facility, affirming its commitment to safeguarding the right to freedom of association;
  • Fujikura representatives delivering trainings to all facility personnel on its neutrality statement and guidelines;
  • The Government of Mexico delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the facility for workers;
  • The Government of Mexico delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights for Human Resources representatives from all of Fujikura’s facilities in Mexico;
  • The Government of Mexico delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining to the union delegates representing workers at Fujikura’s facilities in the state of Coahuila.

The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On November 13, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Comité Fronterizo de Obreros, a Mexican workers’ rights organization.  The petition alleged that Fujikura Automotive Mexico is refusing to hire workers because of union activity at Manufacturas VU.  The United States has closely monitored the effects of the closure of the Manufacturas VU facility, and continues to engage with the Government of Mexico on the matter. 

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 and conducted an investigation.  The Government of Mexico worked with Fujikura to implement facility-wide measures aimed at reaffirming Fujikura’s commitment to respecting freedom of association and collective bargaining rights and strengthening all personnel’s understanding of these rights.  

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 Fujikura facility is available here.

A copy of the request for review can be found here.
Information about previous requests can be found here.