Department of Labor, Trade Representative reach agreement with Mexican government to address labor violations at Aguascalientes garment plant
WASHINGTON – The U.S. and Mexico today announced agreement on a course of remediation at the INISA 2000 garment facility in Aguascalientes in response to a petition filed under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.
The Aguascalientes facility is a sewing operation and part of a larger production chain for the manufacture of denim jeans, many of which are exported to the U.S.
The agreement seeks to remedy denial of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the INISA 2000 facility, including employer interference in union activities and coercion to compel workers to accept the company’s proposed terms for the collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement requires the company to establish guidelines to prevent employer interference in union affairs and safeguard workers’ ability to exercise their right of association freely. Under the agreement, Mexico commits to provide training and periodic inspections at the facility to monitor the course of remediation’s implementation and INISA 2000’s compliance with Mexican law governing freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.
The course of remediation builds on the agreement successfully negotiated between the company and the union during their sessions with the Aguascalientes Labor Conciliation Center. The agreed upon date for completion of the course of remediation is Nov. 10, 2023.
“Through the Rapid Response mechanism, we have made it clear that companies are expected to respect the representative union and negotiate in real collective bargaining, whether in cases involving the auto sector or like today in the garment sector,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We applaud the parties for reaching this agreement, and we again recognize the strong collaboration with the government of Mexico in protecting workers’ rights.”
“We will closely monitor this remediation plan to ensure workers at the INISA facility can freely exercise their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” said U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Today’s announcement reflects how continued collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico leads to concrete and effective measures to address existing labor violations and prevent new ones.”
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 if a facility fails to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.
The INISA 2000 Aguascalientes facility is part of a wholly owned family business based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and established in 1974. Its Mexican facility employs approximately 700 workers.