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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

BUREAU OF INTERNATIONAL LABOR AFFAIRS

NORTH AMERICAN COMMISSION FOR LABOR COOPERATION ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE DIRECTORTues., Feb. 28, 1995

For more information call: (202) 219-6043.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich, Canadian Minister of Labor Lucienne Robillard and Mexican Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare Santiago Onate Laborde today jointly announced that John S. McKennirey has been named executive director of the Secretariat of the Commission for Labor Cooperation which is to be located in Dallas, Texas.

In making the joint announcement, Reich expressed his pleasure, stating, "The appointment of a high-calibre individual such as Mr. McKennirey is proof that the Commission for Labor Cooperation will be a vibrant, active force for defending workers' rights in North America. The United States was very pleased to accept his nomination and we look forward to his solid leadership of this important institution."

John McKennirey was Canada's lead negotiator for the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). He was most recently director general of staff relations and compensations for the Department of National Revenue. His professional experience includes a three-year appointment as director general of Policy and Strategic Analysis at Labor Canada and five years with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. McKennirey has also been research director and executive secretary to a national task force on law and learning.

The Commission for Labor Cooperation was established when the NAALC came into effect on Jan. 1, 1994. The NAALC is one of two parallel agreements to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Secretariat will support the Commission for Labor Cooperation and will work with the National Administrative Offices in the three NAFTA countries to implement the agreement. The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, created by the other parallel agreement, is located in Montreal, Canada.

As chief executive officer, McKennirey will be responsible for the establishment and operation of the Secretariat in Dallas. He is expected to have the Secretariat operational by early April of this year. The staff will be drawn from the three countries.

A biographical sketch of John McKennirey and background information on the Secretariat are attached.

FACT SHEET

Biographical Sketch

John S. McKennirey

John S. McKennirey is a Canadian public servant who was most recently Director General of Staff Relations and Compensation at the Department of National Revenue. In that position, he was responsible for labor relations, compensation and related policy for the largest federal government department in Canada, with some 45,000 employees represented by five unions.

In 1993, Mr. KcKennirey led Canada's labor delegation during the negotiation of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). He conducted the negotiations on behalf of the Canadian government in addition to supporting the Chief Negotiator and the Minister of International Trade. He was also responsible for developing the Canadian position and undertaking the necessary consultations with the provincial and territorial governments as well as with major business and labor organizations.

Mr. McKennirey has held a number of senior federal positions including Director General of Federal-Provincial Relations at Human Resources Development Canada (1993), Director General of Policy and Strategic Analysis at Labor Canada (1990-93), and Director of Indian Taxation at the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1988-90).

Mr. McKennirey holds an Honors Bachelor Degree from Brock University in Peterborough, Ontario (1972) and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa (1982). He has also pursued studies at the graduate level at the University of Louvain in Belgium and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

BACKGROUNDER

Secretariat of the Commission for Labor Cooperation, North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation

The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), signed to supplement the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), came into effect on January 1, 1994. It provided for a trinational Commission for Labor Cooperation which comprises a Ministerial Council and a Secretariat.

The Ministerial Council, which is composed of the ministers responsible for labor of Canada, Mexico and the United States, is the governing body of the Commission. Headed by an Executive Director, the Secretariat will employ 15 staff members. The position of Executive Director is to rotate consecutively between each Party. The appointment to the position is for a three-year term, which may be extended for one additional three-year period.

The functions of the Secretariat are the following:

  • To assist and support the Council in exercising its functions.
  • To prepare background reports setting out publicly available information supplied by each Party on:

    - labor law and administrative procedures; - trends and administrative strategies related to the implementation and enforcement of labor law; - labor market conditions such as employment rates, average wages and labor productivity; and - human resource development issues such as training and adjustment programs.
  • To undertake studies on any matter the Council requests.
  • To support working groups, evaluation committees of experts and arbitral panels created by the Council.
  • To publish periodically a list of matters resolved under Part Four (Cooperative Consultations and Evaluations) of the NAALC.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Agency
Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Date
February 28, 1995
Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number