USMCA: Michigan Auto Parts Firm Shuts Mexico Plant

Maquiladora Cited Repeatedly for Labor Violations


After being cited twice for unfair labor practices under the USMCA, Troy Michigan-based VU Manufacturing has reportedly closed their automotive components facility in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. 

In March of this year, the United States and Mexico announced a remediation plan to address the ongoing denial of rights at the Piedras Negras plant. 

Workers have described difficult conditions at the plant and low wages, such as a base rate of 312 pesos per day (less than $16, based on the current exchange rate) and bonuses that are a challenge to get, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“The United States and Mexico have closely monitored the remediation plan at Manufacturas VU,” read a statement from the USTR.  “However, rather than comply with the terms of the remediation plan and ensure it is operating consistent with Mexican labor laws, the United States understands that Manufacturas VU has closed the facility and ended operations in Mexico.”

This WAS the second RRM action involving VU Manufacturing.  In June 2022, unions filed a separate RRM petition concerning this facility, and in July 2022, the United States Trade Representative invoked the RRM by requesting Mexico conduct its own review.  Mexico subsequently found a denial of rights had occurred, but had been successfully remediated by the time of Mexico’s report. 

Remediation included a free and fair vote for representation at the facility, which the union LSOM won.  USTR announced the successful resolution of that matter on September 14, 2022.   Labor conditions deteriorated after that point, leading to the second petition, second request for review, and the course of remediation announced in March. 

VU Manufacturing was founded in 2008 by its President, Don Cunningham. With headquarters established in Troy, MI, and first manufacturing facility on the Texas-Mexico border. VU Manufacturing’s primary focus the cut and sew of “soft trim” vinyl products and assemblies for the Automotive, Marine, and Medical industries.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here