US Department of Labor, Office of the US Trade Representative seek review of alleged denial of labor rights at Autoliv auto parts plant in Querétaro

2 weeks ago
AMERICA NEWS NOW

WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today requested the government of Mexico review an allegation that workers’ rights are being denied at the Autoliv auto parts plant in Querétaro, Mexico. 

The request for review follows an Oct. 18, 2023 petition filed by Transformación Sindical, a trade union, alleging Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. violated workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Trade Representative co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee.

Filed under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, the petition alleges Autoliv promoted the creation of a company-aligned union, discouraged workers from supporting Transformación Sindical, and fired Transformación Sindical’s affiliates. The petition also asserts that the company blocked union representatives and Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration officials from entering the plant to obstruct efforts by Transformación Sindical to win the right to serve as the workers’ bargaining representative. Finally, the petition claims Autoliv interfered with a June 2023 vote to legitimize a collective bargaining agreement.

After the committee found sufficient and credible evidence supporting the denial of workers’ rights by the company, the U.S. government invoked the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism by submitting a request to review to Mexico. 

“The rights of workers to freely choose a union and collectively bargain are cornerstones of union democracy. We will continue to monitor to ensure that employers do not interfere with those rights or retaliate against workers for exercising them,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We look forward to working closely with the government of Mexico to remedy the denial of rights in this case.”

“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,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We look forward to working closely with the Government of Mexico to resolve the violations of workers’ rights at Autoliv.”

Mexico’s government has 10 days to decide whether to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate the claims and present its findings. 

In operation since 1999, the Autoliv facility manufactures airbags for U.S. and foreign automakers. The facility employs more than 2,200 workers, approximately 1,900 of whom are unionized.

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