Building an Independent & Democratic Labor Movement to Protect Worker Rights in Mexico

Project Duration
July 2022
July 2026
Funding and Year

This project will strengthen the capacity of unions to organize by legitimizing collective bargaining agreements, supporting internal leadership elections, building partnerships, and providing independent unions with legal support and training for lawyers. The project will operate in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, Estado de Mexico and Mexico City, as well as Mexico’s northern states by promoting authentic collective bargaining in the automotive, auto parts, aerospace, call centers, electronics, garment, industrial bakeries, logistics and mining sectors.

The Problem

Mexico’s labor relations regime has been historically characterized by low levels of unionization and anti-democratic “protection unions” that control workers and keep low wages.  In spite of the contribution of Mexico’s workers to the growth of the economy and the national wealth, their voice has been suppressed and their interests unrepresented for many years. On May 1, 2019, Mexico enacted a sweeping labor justice reform addressing, among other important labor issues, true democratic unionizing, however there are still significant obstacles that impede successful implementation. Although important progress has been made in strengthening workers’ rights to organize and form unions, many employers, protection unions, and local governments continue to systematically hinder effective implementation.

Our Strategy

The project will provide a broad set of resources to support existing and new independent and democratic unions as they organize and represent Mexican workers, and as they strengthen their institutional structure and develop legitimate, capable and accountable leadership. In addition, the interventions will expand workers’ labor law knowledge and build workers’ capacity to understand the applicability of relevant labor laws to their circumstances and conduct their own assessments of workplace violations. The initiative will also strengthen cross-sectoral alliances of independent and democratic unions and promote transnational labor solidarity.

Solidarity Center
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4900 / Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA)
Capacity Building
Data Collection
Mexico Labor Law Reform
USMCA Technical Assistance
Worker Voice
Workers Organizations