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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Signing of the Workers Rights Joint Declaration

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thank you Ambassador Sarukhan.

Ambassador Sarukhan and I just signed the Workers Rights Joint Declaration as an affirmation to both of our nations' commitment to ensuring that Mexican nationals who come to work in the United States are made aware of their labor rights and that these rights are protected.

Our two countries share more than just a mutual border.

We also share a rich and long history — one in which we recognize the contributions made by the Mexican workers who come to this country in search of opportunities.

They generously give the sweat of their brow and contribute the fruit of their labor to the economy of the United States.

But once here, many encounter abuses and dangers in the workplace.

Often times they don't realize that they are entitled to certain rights including safe and clean working conditions, appropriate equipment and a decent wage for their hard work.

That is why we are here today.

Since 2004, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, along with our Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has partnered with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We have partnered together to inform Mexican workers in the United States about their labor rights through information sharing, outreach, education, training, and exchange of best practices.

All across this country, in cities with large Mexican populations like Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, and Chicago, among others, we are carrying out initiatives to ensure that workers are being paid a decent wage for their hard work and that they are not subjected to unjust labor practices.

By signing this joint declaration we reaffirm our commitment to ensure that the rights of all Mexican workers in the United States are respected; that employers comply with workplace laws and regulations; and that workers know about these laws that protect them.

I look forward to continuing our work with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its staff to help strengthen American's greatest assets — our working men and women.

Thank you.