US Department of Labor, Office of US Trade Representative announce successful resolution of denial of rights petition at Mexican air cargo carrier
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor and the Office of the Trade Representative today announced that the U.S. and Mexican governments have successfully resolved a Rapid Response Mechanism petition by a pilots’ union alleging labor rights violations at MAS Air, a Mexico City-based national cargo air carrier.
The announcement follows an August 2023 request for review by the U.S. government of a petition filed by the Asociación Sindical de Pilotos Aviadores de México, in which the pilots’ union claimed intimidation and interference in union activities by the cargo carrier. The labor rights violations included the dismissal of several pilots for participating in union activity and irregularities in a vote to ratify a collective bargaining agreement.
In reaching a resolution, the U.S. government worked with the government of Mexico and MAS Air. As a result, the air carrier agrees to do the following:
- Remediate workers’ claims, including issuing a statement and company guidelines on neutrality, non-interference, good-faith bargaining and zero tolerance for infringement of freedom of association rights.
- Reinstate one of the dismissed pilots who sought to return to MAS Air and pay severance to others allegedly fired for participating in union activity who chose not to return to the company.
- Publicize an upcoming vote determining which union will represent cargo pilots, including issuing a list of workers eligible to vote and guidelines developed by the labor court overseeing the vote.
To promote labor rights at MAS Air, the Mexican government worked closely with the airline to provide training to employees on freedom of association and collective bargaining. They also aided the company in publicizing the vote, scheduled from Nov. 6 to 17.
“The Department of Labor commends the government of Mexico, ASPA petitioners and MAS Air for the constructive collaboration in addressing the denial of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at MAS Air, the first resolution of an RRM petition in the services sector,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “With the Mexican government overseeing the upcoming secret ballot vote at MAS Air, we are confident pilots will be able to exercise their right to choose a representative union freely.”
“These actions demonstrate the Biden-Harris administration’s continuing commitment to protecting workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights across a wide range of facilities, including those in the services sector,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We commend the government of Mexico and Mas Air for their efforts to address this matter swiftly.”
The RRM petition was authorized by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee, which is co-chaired by the department and the USTR.