US Department of Labor, Trade Representative request Mexico review alleged denial of labor rights at Yazaki auto parts plant in Guanajuato
WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today requested the government of Mexico review an allegation that workers at the Yazaki auto parts facility in Leon, Guanajuato, are being denied the right to freedom of association.
The action follows a petition alleging the plant is violating workers’ freedom of association and the exercise of their right to collective bargaining. The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Trade Representative co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee.
On May 18, 2023, Yazaki workers, supported by workers’ rights organization Casa Obrera del Bajío, filed a USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism petition with the department. The petition alleges various irregularities in a collective bargaining agreement “legitimization” vote in March 2023, in which workers ratified the existing agreement held by the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Metal-Mecanica, Sidero-Metalurgica, Automotriz y Proveedoras de Autopartes en General, de la Energia, Sus Derivados y Similares de la República Mexicana, known as “Miguel Trujillo Lopez.” An investigation by the U.S. government concluded that the Miguel Trujillo Lopez union misinformed workers before and during the vote about the legitimization process’ purpose and potential consequences in an attempt to influence the outcome.
“Respect for workers’ right to approve their collective bargaining agreement, freely and without interference, is a critical component of Mexico’s labor reform,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We value our strong partnership with the Mexican government and look forward to resolving this matter jointly to ensure that every worker’s voice is heard, respected, and valued, and so that workers fully understand these votes and their consequences.”
“Workers’ right to free and fair union democracy votes is critical to the success of Mexico’s labor reform and is a key component of the USMCA labor provisions. Today we ask Mexico to review a situation involving interference in this fundamental right to vote. Through the RRM, we have a proven, successful mechanism to work with the Mexican government to support and complement their domestic labor enforcement efforts,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We look forward to collaborating with the government of Mexico to address the issues at this facility and uphold workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining across Mexico.”
Sufficient and credible evidence supporting the allegations enabled the committee to invoke the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. Mexico’s government has 10 days to decide whether to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate the claims and present its findings.
The USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism allows the U.S. to take enforcement action based on the labor situation at an individual factory in Mexico that fails to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.
A subsidiary of Yazaki Corp., Grupo Yazaki S.A. de C.V. is an auto parts manufacturer with facilities in eight Mexican states, employing 58,000 workers. The León facility has more than 2,800 workers and manufactures electronic automotive parts and components used at major auto assembly plants.