USMCA: More Maquiladora Monkeyshines

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US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced  that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico facility in El Marqués in the state of Quéretaro are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Allegations against the Swedish airbag giant include firing workers in retaliation for union activity, making coercive statements that interfere with workers’ rights and denying access to the facility for union-related activity.

The US government has suspended liquidation of tariffs on goods from the facility.

The request marks the seventeenth time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“The United States is building a strong record of utilizing the rapid response mechanism to protect workers, when we have evidence a company has violated their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” Ms. Tai said. “We look forward to working closely with the Government of Mexico to resolve the violations of workers’ rights at Autoliv.”

The request is in response to a RRM petition from Mexican union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Transformación, Construcción, Automotriz, Agropecuaria, Plásticos y de la Industria en General, del Comercio y Servicios Similares, Anexos y Conexos del Estado de Querétaro.

The petition alleged that Autoliv dismissed workers in retaliation for undertaking union organizing activity, interfered in union affairs, and denied Transformación Sindical access to the facility.

Mexico has ten days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from yesterday to complete the review.