The United States and Mexico have resolved a labor dispute over auto parts plant Texed El Hierro in the northeastern Mexican city of Frontera, which would give an independent union access to the facilities, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said Tuesday.
On June 6, the United States asked the Mexican government to review the situation at an auto parts plant where workers complained of being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
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These types of requests are covered by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (T-MEC) Rapid Response Action Mechanism, the agreement that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in effect on July 1, 2020. Almost 25 years.
The separation of labor in T-MEC obligates the three countries to ensure genuine collective bargaining, union democracy, and freedom of association for employees of companies trading in the region.
The Mexican Autonomous Federation and the employers entered into negotiations facilitated by the Mexican government that led to several actions.
The office of US Trade Representative Catherine Taye said in a statement that employers decided to “provide the independent union with access to facilities” to represent workers, provide an office and pay dues.
In addition, it will restore 36 workers to their jobs, propose their overdue payments, and issue a neutrality declaration.
The text adds that the Mexican government, for its part, undertakes to “monitor the situation” in the company.
“This successful outcome shows that we are creating a more competitive economy in North America, where workers and unions can work on an equal footing,” Tay said in the note.
“The measures announced today reflect the shared intention of the United States and Mexico to ensure that trade benefits workers on both sides of the border,” he added.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, for his part, estimated that these measures “will help bring an end to eight years of abuse of workers’ rights in Takseked.”