USA / MEXICO – United States trade representative Katherine Tai and department of labor deputy undersecretary for international affairs Thea Lee today announced the resolution of a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) petition related to a Unique Fabricating facility in Santiago de Querétaro, where workers were denied their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Today’s announcement marks the eighth facility in which the United States has successfully used the RRM to benefit workers.
“This matter demonstrates both the United States and Mexico’s commitment to ensuring workers can exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining,” said ambassador Katherine Tai. “We commend the government of Mexico and the company for their efforts to quickly resolve this matter.”
“The US department of labor appreciates the government of Mexico’s focus on employer neutrality in its review,” said deputy undersecretary for international affairs Thea Lee. “Workers and unions need to have confidence that they can exercise their fundamental labor rights without interference from their employers.”
The United States sent Mexico a request to review this facility on March 6, 2023. The government of Mexico conducted a review and took many actions during the review period to ensure workers’ rights are protected at the facility, including conducting training for management and workers, and working with the company to issue a neutrality statement recognizing workers’ ability to select a union of their own choice and stating its zero-tolerance policy toward union favoritism and discrimination.
The company also signed an agreement with the new union committing to provide the new and existing unions with equal access to the facility, take steps to prevent potential freedom of association violations, and provide the new union with dues from its affiliates.
Additionally, the government of Mexico monitored a union representation vote at the facility, in which workers elected an independent union to represent them for purposes of bargaining at the facility.
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