US lawmakers demand GM and Mexico protect workers’ rights to union voting

ReutersThree US lawmakers on Friday urged General Motors and the Mexican government to protect workers’ rights ahead of union elections next week at a downtown pickup truck factory.

Representative Earl Blumenauer, who chairs a major subcommittee on commerce, and colleagues Bill Pascrell and Dan Keldy have raised concerns about reports of alleged intimidation of employees ahead of the vote at General Motors’ Silau plant, where it builds Silverados.

“It is essential that General Motors and the Mexican labor authority ensure that every worker can cast their confidential vote freely and without intimidation,” the lawmakers demanded.

The US automaker said it was “fully committed to working with Mexican authorities, the workforce, election observers and all partners, including the (Biden) administration and the US Congress.”

For its part, the Federal Center for Conciliation and Employment Registration in Mexico, which organizes the vote, reported that it had inspected the factory to ensure access to voters and that this week it opened an email account to receive potential complaints from workers, although so far nothing has been submitted.

Lee: FA urges GM to ensure workers vote in Silao

The center added that nearly 6,300 workers are eligible to vote on February 1 and 2 in five different areas of the factory in Silao where four new unions are elected, in line with the Mexican labor reform aimed at protecting freedom of association, a key principle. New Trade Agreement with Canada and the United States TMEC.

Last year, a vote on the collective agreement, which opened the door to choosing a new union, was initially marred by irregularities, including damaged ballot papers, leading Washington to demand more scrutiny of a formal complaint under the TMEC.

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US officials closed GM’s complaint about those accidents in September, but the Labor Department and the US Trade Representative’s office are still tracking the problem, according to a recent report by the US government’s Labor Committee.

The United Auto Workers (UAW), which represents General Motors workers in the United States, said last week it had also called for tougher scrutiny of the election, which it initially limited to 7,000 voters.

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Aileen Morales

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