WASHINGTON – The Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement today requested that the Mexican government conduct a review at the Panasonic Automotive Systems electronic parts facility in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, in response to a petition filed under the USMCA alleging that plant workers there have been denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.
The committee is co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Trade Representative.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is focused on the vital work of assuring compliance with the labor obligations in our trade agreements, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “We must guarantee workers’ right to unionize freely and to collectively bargain. We intend to continue our close working relationship with the government of Mexico to resolve this matter.”
On April 18, 2022, the department received a USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism petition filed by the non-profit advocacy group, Rethink Trade and a Mexican labor union, the Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadores de Industrias y Servicios “Movimiento 20/32.” The petition alleges that Panasonic violated rights of association by signing a collective bargaining agreement outside of the legal processes established by the Mexican labor reform to assure worker representation in their unions.
The Interagency Labor Committee found sufficient and credible evidence of a denial of rights at Panasonic, which enabled the good faith invocation of the Rapid Response enforcement mechanism. Mexico’s government has 10 days to agree to conduct a review, and 45 days to conduct an investigation into the claims and to present its findings.
The USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism is the first of its kind and allows the U.S. to take enforcement actions against individual factories in Mexico if they fail to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.
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