US government seeks Mexico’s review of allegations that workers’ rights to associate, collectively bargain were denied at Coahuila auto parts plant
WASHINGTON – The U.S. government today requested the Mexican government review whether the rights of free association and collective bargaining have been denied to workers at the VU Manufacturing parts facility in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.
The Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – co-chaired by the Department of Labor and the U.S. Trade Representative – recommended the request, citing a USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism petition received on June 21, 2022, from a Mexican labor union and a worker advocacy group. The petition – filed by Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana and the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras – alleges VU Manufacturing interfered with the workers’ ability to choose their union, a violation of their rights to associate and collectively bargain.
“In keeping with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the U.S. Department of Labor seeks to level the playing field for workers and businesses on both sides of the border and to promote growth and stability in the region,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “We recognize the ongoing efforts of the Mexican government to work with us to resolve concerns and to ensure workers may choose their union freely and collectively bargain.”
After its review of the allegations, the Interagency Labor Committee found sufficient and credible evidence that workers’ rights were denied at VU Manufacturing, which enabled the good faith invocation of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. The Mexican government has 10 days to determine whether to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate the claims and present its findings.
VU Manufacturing is an automotive soft trim supplier based in Troy, Michigan, with manufacturing and support facilities in the U.S. and Mexico.
The USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism allows the U.S. to take enforcement action based on the labor situation at an individual factory in Mexico if that facility fails to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws. The Piedras Negras petition is the fifth request filed under the mechanism.