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US and Honduras sign landmark labor rights agreement
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Honduran Minister of Labor Carlos Madero have signed an historic agreement on labor rights that underscores their governments' shared commitment to making trade work for workers. The agreement supports a comprehensive monitoring and action plan that addresses gaps in enforcement of Honduran labor law outlined in a February 2015 report from the Bureau of International Labor Affairs on the country's compliance with the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.
The plan's implementation stands to benefit millions of Honduran and U.S. workers, and level the playing field for companies operating in Honduras that play by the rules.
The agreement goes beyond the reforms called for in the Labor Department's report. It includes actions to not only address the legal, institutional, and practical challenges to labor law enforcement in Honduras, but also to increase transparency, outreach to labor and business stakeholders, and U.S.-Honduran cooperation to strengthen the outcomes and sustainability of the agreement.
"To ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly shared, you need meaningful enforcement that protects workers and supports a growing and vibrant middle class at home and around the world," said Secretary Perez. "Minister Madero and his team really stepped up to the plate to negotiate this promising and far-reaching agreement that will benefit Honduran workers as well as workers here in the United States."
Officials from the Government of Honduras and representatives of Honduran businesses visited Washington for the signing of the agreement in a show of support for U.S.-Honduras collaboration on labor rights. These important stakeholders have been key partners in the ongoing dialogue between the United States and Honduras, and in the development of the agreement.
Prior to the agreement's signing, the Honduran delegation participated in exchanges with experts from the department's Wage and Hour Division, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration on enforcement topics to discuss best practices and identify areas for future collaboration.
- Read this news release en Español.