WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today requested a review by the government of Mexico after receiving an allegation that workers’ rights are being denied at the Unique Fabricating facility in Querétaro, Mexico.
The action comes in response to a petition filed under the USMCA that claims the auto industry plastics manufacturer is obstructing workers’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining. The ILC is co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Trade Representative.
“Labor provisions in the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement and Mexico’s 2019 labor reform are intended to address allegations like those cited in this case,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “The government of Mexico has indicated their support for full implementation of the labor reform. We look forward to working together to address the issues in this case.”
“The USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism is an important tool to defend workers’ rights and helps us advance a worker-centered trade policy around the world,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We look forward to working with the Government of Mexico to promptly address these issues as we pursue a shared goal of raising labor standards and creating a race to the top in trade.”
The committee’s request follows the department’s Feb. 2, 2023, receipt of a USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism petition filed by the “Transformación Sindical” union. Among its claims, the union alleges Unique Fabricating refused to grant the union access to the facility and interfered with its organizing efforts.
Sufficient and credible evidence supporting the allegation enabled the committee to invoke the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. Mexico’s government has 10 days to agree to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate 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 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.
Unique Fabricating Inc. is a U.S.-based company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, that supplies components for the automotive, industrial off-road, appliance and medical industries. It maintains production and warehouse facilities in the U.S. in Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan; as well as in London, Ontario; and in Monterrey and Queretaro, Mexico.
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