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DOL Finds No Evidence of NAFTA Labor Violations by Mexico

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau has released a report in response to a submission filed in January by U.S. and Mexican labor unions and worker advocacy groups alleging that the government of Mexico violated the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation by failing to effectively enforce its labor laws with respect to freedom of association, collective bargaining, discrimination, minimum labor standards, occupational safety and health, and workers’ compensation and to ensure that its labor law proceedings are fair, equitable and transparent. 

ILAB determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to support specific conclusions related to the Mexican government’s application of labor laws at Chedraui stores, in light of information in the submission and additional information obtained during the review. Nonetheless, the report discusses in detail DOL’s longstanding, serious concerns regarding issues raised in the submission. These concerns include, in particular, protection contracts and the primary factors that facilitate them, such as structural bias in the conciliation and arbitration boards that administer labor justice in Mexico.

The report adds that constitutional and legislative reforms pending in the Mexican Congress would go a long way towards addressing these concerns. DOL is urging expeditious passage and implementation of the reforms and will continue to monitor and engage with the Mexican government on these and other issues raised in the submission.

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