News Release

Department of Labor, Office of Trade Representative announce remediation prevented labor rights denial, allowed new union election at Draxton Mexico

Actions protect workers’ freedom of association, collective bargaining at Guanajuato facility

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative today announced the conclusion of a self-initiated Rapid Response Mechanism action under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with respect to Draxton Mexico, an auto parts facility in Guanajuato. The action alleged that the company had denied freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.

On July 31, 2023, the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement on a course of remediation that included key actions to prevent employer interference in union matters at the Draxton facility. The required actions included requiring the facility to issue an employer neutrality statement regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining; establish company guidelines to safeguard freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the facility; reinstate — with backpay and benefits — a worker dismissed for engaging in protected union activity as Mexican law requires; and train workers and managers on new policies.

Following the Oct. 31, 2023, conclusion of the course of remediation, the U.S. and Mexico continued monitoring the facility to ensure that no denial of rights occurred. As a result, the facility’s workers participated in a free and fair vote on Nov. 30, 2023 — overseen by Mexican labor authorities and the International Labor Organization — that elected a new union, the National Independent Auto Workers’ Union, also known by its Spanish acronym, SINTTIA.

“The actions taken by the Government of Mexico and the company under the agreed-upon remediation course established a solid foundation to ensure union autonomy at the Draxton facility,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “With these protections in place, we look forward to an environment of collaborative labor relations, resulting in mutual benefits for workers and the company.” 

“Today’s announcement recognizes the reinstatement of the unjustly terminated worker and the progress made toward ensuring there are no reprisals against workers for their engagement in union activity,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We commend the Government of Mexico and Draxton for their efforts to address the denials of rights that occurred. We are confident that the remediation actions taken and the facility’s compliance with Mexican labor law offer a way forward for workers to affiliate with the union of their choice without any form of interference or retribution.” 

On May 31, 2023, a self-initiated U.S. request for review — the second such action under the RRM — prompted an investigation by the department and the Trade Representative that indicated several denials of labor rights, including the unlawful termination of a union official and interference in related activities attempting to control the union.  

The RRM allows the U.S. to take enforcement action based on the labor situation at an individual factory in Mexico if such facility fails to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.

Learn more about the department’s international work.


Bureau of International Labor Affairs
April 9, 2024
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Media Contact: Ryan Honick
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