United States seeks Mexico’s review of alleged freedom of association, collective bargaining violations at Teksid Hierro facility
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai today announced that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Teksid Hierro de México facility in Frontera, State of Coahuila, are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.
The request, which was made in response to a petition filed under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, marks the fourth time that the U.S. has requested Mexico’s review of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights issues under the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.
“The U.S. Department of Labor will continue working with our trade partners and the private sector to secure freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, which are foundations of our worker-centered trade agenda,” said Secretary Marty Walsh. “As we have done with other Rapid Response Labor Mechanism cases, we look forward to collaborating with the government of Mexico to ensure that workers can choose their union representatives freely and without interference.”
USMCA’s Labor Chapter contains a bilateral annex that requires Mexico to have specific laws necessary for the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. The annex mirrors key provisions of Mexico’s historic 2019 labor law reform. The first-of-its-kind Rapid Response Labor Mechanism provides for expedited enforcement of collective bargaining and free association rights at the facility level.
“We continue to use the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism to defend workers’ rights and remain committed to working closely with the Mexican government to do so,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “When our trade policy helps to ensure that workers in all countries can exercise their rights, it helps drive a race to the top.”
In connection with the U.S. request, Ambassador Tai has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the liquidation for all unliquidated entries of goods from the Teksid Hierro facility.
The U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement. On May 5, 2022, the ILC received a RRM petition from the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos, Siderúgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana, a Mexican union. The petition alleged that workers at the Teksid Hierro automotive parts facility in Frontera are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining. The ILC reviews RRM petitions that it receives, and the accompanying information, within 30 days.
In response to the petition, the ILC determined that there is sufficient credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms. As a result, the U.S. Trade Representative has submitted a request to Mexico that it review whether workers at the Teksid Hierro facility are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining. Mexico has 10 days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from today to complete the review.
Last month, the U.S. submitted a request for review to Mexico on a Panasonic automotive parts facility. Learn more about the request on the Panasonic facility.