US Department of Labor, Trade Representative applaud steps taken by Mexico to address allegations at Unique Fabricating plant in Queretaro
WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement is applauding a report by the government of Mexico on April 20, 2023, detailing steps taken to address allegations that the Unique Fabricating facility in Querétaro, Mexico, denied workers’ rights.
The action follows a petition filed under the USMCA in response to claims that the auto industry plastics manufacturer was obstructing workers’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining. The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Trade Representative are co-chairs of the USMCA’s Interagency Labor Committee.
“The U.S. Department of Labor appreciates the government of Mexico’s focus on employer neutrality in its review,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “Workers and unions need to have confidence that they can exercise their fundamental labor rights without interference from their employers.”
The development follows the committee’s March 6, 2023, request for review by the government of Mexico of the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism petition filed by the “Transformación Sindical” union. Among its claims, the union alleged Unique Fabricating refused to grant the union access to the facility and interfered with its organizing efforts.
“This matter demonstrates both the United States and Mexico’s commitment to ensuring workers can exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining,” said U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We commend the Government of Mexico and the company for their efforts to quickly resolve this matter.”
Sufficient and credible evidence supporting the allegation enabled the committee to invoke the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. Mexico’s government presented its findings 45 days from the U.S. government’s request for review.
The USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism is the first of its kind and allows the U.S. to take enforcement action based on the labor situation at an individual factory in Mexico if such facility fails to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Unique Fabricating Inc. supplies components for the automotive, industrial off-road, appliance and medical industries. It maintains production and warehouse facilities in Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan, as well as in London, Ontario, and in Monterrey and Queretaro, Mexico.