US and Mexico announce enforcement of worker protection agreement
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Flags of USA and Mexico

The United States and Mexico have announced a course of remediation that will provide workers at General Motors’ Silao plant with the ability to vote on a collective bargaining agreement in free and democratic conditions.

The move follows the US’s May request, under the rapid response labour mechanism of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, for Mexico to investigate concerns surrounding an April vote of a collective bargaining agreement for workers at the facility

Mexico conducted a review in response to the request, and on 25 June commenced discussions on a remediation plan. The course builds on steps already being taken by the Mexican government.

As part of the remediation, Mexico will ensure that a new vote is held at the facility by 20 August 2021 with federal inspectors present to prevent any intimidation and coercion from occurring.

Independent observers from the International Labor Organization will also be permitted to attend the vote at the facility.

Mexico will also distribute accurate workers’ rights information at the facility; investigate and sanction anyone responsible for the conduct that led to the suspension of the April vote; and respond to email and telephone complaints from workers about the voting process. 

While focused on providing remedy to the more than 6,000 unionised workers of the GM’s Silao plant, the US and Mexico have also agreed on measures to strengthen policies that will improve bargaining rights and freedom of association more broadly to workers in Mexico.

US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said: “If we are to succeed in protecting workers’ rights at home, we must ensure that those rights will not be undermined by exploitative labour practices and violations of collective bargaining rights around the world.

“This agreement shows the commitment of the Biden-Harris administration to centring workers in our trade policy and – if executed faithfully – it promises to result in meaningful gains for workers on both sides of our border.”