United States Seeks Mexico’s Review of Alleged Denial of Workers’ Rights at Ammunition Manufacturer Industrias Tecnos, S.A. de C.V.

June 24, 2024

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced today that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at Industrias Tecnos, S.A. de C.V.  facility in Cuernavaca, Morelos, are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The United States has suspended liquidation of tariffs on goods from the facility, which manufactures small arms ammunition. The request, which was made in response to a petition, marks the 24th time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“The USMCA empowers workers to organize freely and support the union of their choice. Through today’s invocation of the RRM, we are again reaffirming this right and our intention to continue using this tool to advocate that workers’ rights are respected,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Measures taken through the RRM have directly benefitted over 36,000 workers and we look forward to collaborating with the Government of Mexico to deliver for the workers represented in this matter as well.”
“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are upheld, as mandated by Mexico’s labor laws and the USMCA. Our investigation into Industrias Tecnos revealed evidence of interference in worker organizing efforts and retaliation against workers for their union activity, which violate these commitments,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Thea Lee. “We look forward to working with the Government of Mexico to ensure that workers at Industrias Tecnos can exercise their rights without fear of retaliation.”
The U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On May 23, 2024, the ILC received an RRM petition from Sindicato Independiente de Trabajadores y Empleados, Transporte, Carga y Descarga, Exploración y Explotación de Minerales Basicos, Productos Metálicos, Similares y Conexos de la Republica Mexicana (Sindicato Metálico). The petition alleged that Industrias Tecnos and the union that currently holds collective bargaining rights at the facility, Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Industria Química, Plástica, Metálica y Transformadora de toda clase de Productos, Derivados, Similares y Conexos de la República Mexicana, discouraged affiliation to Sindicato Metálico and unjustly dismissed workers for engaging in union activities. 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 U.S. Trade Representative has submitted a request to the Government of Mexico that it reviews whether workers at the Industrias Tecnos facility are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Mexico has 10 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 U.S. Secretary of the Treasury can be found here.

Information about previous requests can be found here.