US Department of Labor, Office of the Trade Representative seek review by Mexican government into alleged labor rights denial at Nuevo Laredo plant
WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today requested a review from the government of Mexico of the Tecnología Modificada facility in Nuevo Laredo, based on its investigation of a denial of workers’ rights.
The facility is operated by a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, and other products.
The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Trade Representative co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee.
The request follows a Sept. 25, 2023, petition filed under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism by the National Independent Union of Industry and Service Workers “20/32 Movement” alleging that the company unlawfully terminated a worker for union organizing and that the company engaged in several actions that interfered with union activities.
A U.S. government investigation found evidence supporting the allegations, leading to the request for review.
“We take very seriously the allegations of employer interference in union activities in this case, including the firing of a worker for organizing. These acts undermine workers’ rights and the development of free and independent unions. The Mexican Labor Reform and the USMCA Rapid Response Mechanism were designed to address exactly this type of incident,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We look forward to working closely with the government of Mexico to find solutions to these issues and build on our positive track record.”
Sufficient and credible evidence supporting the denial of workers’ rights by Tecnología Modificada allowed the committee to invoke the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.
“Workers are entitled to organize for and select the union of their choice without retaliation or interference from their employer.” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ steadfast commitment to using the RRM to safeguard workers’ exercise of these fundamental rights. 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 Tecnología Modificada facility in Nuevo Laredo refurbishes electronic mechanical parts used in Caterpillar tractors, earth movers and other heavy equipment.