News Release

US Department of Labor, Office of the Trade Representative find denial of labor rights at Asiaway auto parts plant in San Luis Potosí

15th request under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism

WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today triggered a request to the government of Mexico to conduct a review at the Asiaway auto parts plant in San Luis Potosí, based on its findings that a denial of workers’ rights has occurred there.

The U.S. Department of Labor and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee.

The request follows a Sept. 20, 2023, petition filed by trade union Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana and the International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network alleging violations of workers’ freedom of association rights by Asiaway Automotive Components Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. 

Filed under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, the petition alleges Asiaway terminated a Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana delegate in retaliation the day after the union representative notified the company that the union had applied to represent workers in the facility and posted the application notice issued by Mexican federal labor authorities. A U.S. government investigation found evidence supporting the allegations and determined a request for review under the USMCA was merited.  

The allegation of retaliatory dismissal for engaging in protected union activity is quite serious and requires urgent attention,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We expect to continue our close collaboration with the Mexican government to resolve this matter.”

Sufficient and credible evidence supporting the denial of workers’ rights allowed the committee to invoke the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, or RRM.

“Freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental cornerstones of the USMCA and Mexico’s labor reform. Employers can no longer choose the unions with whom they work and must respect workers’ rights to select and join the union of their choice,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Today’s action underscores the United States’ ongoing commitment to using the RRM to support workers’ rights of organizing and joining the union of their choice. We look forward to working closely with the government of Mexico to resolve the issues present in this matter.” 

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 Asiaway facility in San Luis Potosí designs, develops and manufactures automobile transmission parts for use in U.S. and elsewhere.

Learn more about the department’s international work.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
October 23, 2023
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Media Contact: Christine Feroli
Media Contact: Ryan Honick
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