US Requests Commission to Review Whether Grupo México Violates Its Workers’ Rights | Economy

Ferrosur rail yard in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, in 2023.Victoria Razo (Bloomberg)

The United States Trade Representative, Catherine Tay, announced on Tuesday that her country has asked a commission to verify whether Group Mexico is complying with workers’ rights at the San Martín mine in Zacatecas. This is the second commission that the neighboring country has requested to resolve its disputes with Mexico, but the first to use the Rapid Response Action Mechanism, designed under the Trade Agreement, TMEC, so that partner governments can act quickly to investigate. and whether factories deny their workers the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The announcement comes five days after the US Trade Representative’s office requested that the dispute over Mexico’s ban on genetically modified corn be brought to a commission, arguing that the decree, issued by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was not based on science. The Ministry of Economy replied that it would verify before the Dispute Settlement Committee that the law had no commercial implications. The two countries spent five months in stages of technical consultations in which they did not reach a solution. The United States also opened consultations to resolve the possible violation of the TMEC agreement by Mexico in energy matters. However, these investigations stopped without reaching a committee.

San Martin, a lead, zinc and copper mine, is owned and operated by Grupo México, owned by business magnate German Larrea, Mexico’s second richest man. In June, the US Trade Representative asked Mexico to review whether the workers had seen their rights violated, but Mexico replied that it would not, because the conflict between the company and the miners dates back to 2007, so it predates the current trade agreement. In addition, the Ministry of Economy confirmed that the mine does not export materials to the United States.

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In the committee’s petition posted to its website on Tuesday, the US Trade Representative said that although the labor conflict predates TMEC, everything indicates that workers’ rights are still currently being violated. “It appears that the facility is conducting normal operations during the ongoing strike without waiting for the legal decision and corresponding authorization from the Mexican courts,” the text of the application states, “it also appears that Grupo México, the employer operating the covered facility, negotiated collectively with a different unauthorized labor organization.” legal representation of workers for the purposes of collective bargaining.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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