The United States is once again using the rapid response labor mechanism under the US-Mexico- Canada Agreement to protect workers' rights at a Mexican facility.
Washington is asking Mexico to review whether workers at a Goodyear SLP facility in the state of San Luis Potosi are being denied the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
This marks the eighth time the Administration has turned to the rapid response labor mechanism and the third time this year.
The latest action was trigger by a petition received from the independent Mexican union La Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana. The petition alleged that Goodyear SLP, which specializes in converting rubber into car tires, has not abided by the provisions in the sectoral collective bargaining agreement covering the rubber industry and instead signed a singular CBA with benefits inferior to those in the agreement.
In 2019 US lawmakers threatened to hold up ratification of the USMCA over pay and conditions at the plant. Reporting by Reuters at the time suggested wages at the facility are range from $2 to $6 an hour. By comparison Goodyear workers in the US reportedly receive a basic wage of $23 per hour.
Since the petition was filed, a legitimization vote at the facility was canceled by the government of Mexico due to significant irregularities. A new vote took place on May 7-8, 2023, which resulted in the singular CBA being voted down. At the time of this request, the company and government of Mexico were pursuing legal action against the perpetrators of the criminal activities intended to influence the outcome of the first vote.
“Once again, the use of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism underscores our commitment to safeguarding workers’ rights and enforcing the USMCA,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said. In connection with the US request, Ms. Tai directed the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the liquidation for all unliquidated entries of goods from the Goodyear SLP facility.
Mexico has ten days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from yesterday to complete the review.
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