WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today requested the government of Mexico review an allegation that the rights of workers at the Goodyear rubber tire facility in San Luis Potosí are being denied.
The action follows a petition alleging the manufacturer is obstructing workers’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining. The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Trade Representative co-chair the committee.
On April 20, 2023, the department received the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism petition filed by La Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana claiming that the Goodyear facility refused to apply a sectoral agreement that covers the rubber industry in Mexico establishing wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment.
While the U.S. government investigated, the Mexican government took a proactive approach to the recent collective bargaining agreement legitimization vote at the facility. Its Federal Center for Conciliation and Labor Registration suspended an April vote due to serious irregularities and held a second vote in early May without significant issues and with external observers present, including those from the International Labor Organization. In the second vote, workers voted overwhelmingly to reject the collective bargaining agreement, resulting in its termination at the end of May.
“In rejecting the collective bargaining agreement, the workers at the Goodyear rubber tire facility in San Luis Potosi have expressed their will. We now look to Goodyear to treat their workers fairly and apply the sectoral agreement,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “The Mexican government has indicated its support for full implementation of the labor reform. Working together, we can address the issues in this case and make sure workers receive the benefits to which they are entitled by law.”
“Once again, the use of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism underscores our commitment to safeguarding workers’ rights and enforcing the USMCA,” Ambassador Katherine Tai said. “We remain committed to partnering with the Government of Mexico to support workers as they pursue better workplace conditions.”
Sufficient and credible evidence supporting the allegation enabled the committee to invoke the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. Mexico’s government has 10 days to decide whether to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate the claims and to present its findings.
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 such facility fails to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.
The San Luis Potosí facility is operated by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world’s largest tire companies. Based in Akron, Ohio, the company employs about 74,000 people globally and manufactures its products in 57 facilities in 23 countries. More than 1,100 union-eligible workers are employed at the San Luis Potosi facility which produces rubber tires.
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