Background

The U.S. and Mexico announced July 31 a course of remediation to address denials of rights at Draxton’s automotive parts facility in Irapuato, state of Guanajuato. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative noted that to date the U.S. and Mexico have agreed on a formal course of remediation in five of the 11 times the U.S. has invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

On the other hand, Mexican authorities said Aug. 1 that a June 16 request by the U.S. regarding alleged labor violations at Grupo México’s San Martin mine in the state of Zacatecas is outside the scope of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism and will be adjudicated by Mexican courts because the conflict dates back to July 2007 and therefore predates the USMCA. Mexican authorities also indicated that there is no evidence the mine is exporting any goods to the U.S.

The Draxton request centered around concerns that workers at the Irapuato facility were being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining, including the retaliatory termination of a union official and workers not receiving their collective bargaining agreement before they voted on it. Under the remediation course, which must be completed by Oct. 30, the Mexican government will ensure that Draxton:

- reinstates a worker terminated due to union activities and there will be no discrimination, harassment, intimidation, coercion, threats, reprisals, or violence against the worker moving forward;

- provides the terminated worker full back pay and benefits, from the date of termination until the date of reinstatement;

- posts, disseminates, and abides by a public, written statement in which Draxton commits to ensure respect for the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining, affirm its neutrality on workers’ union choices and guarantee its non-interference in all union activities, and refrain from attempts to influence workers’ views on unions or union officials in any way;

- issues transparent guidelines that govern the conduct of personnel at Draxton and implement the commitments of the neutrality statement;

- trains all company personnel and union representatives on the public statement and guidelines and commits to conduct annual trainings moving forward;

- implements a zero-tolerance policy for violations of the guidelines and neutrality statement;

- distributes a printed copy of the current CBA to all company personnel, with new workers receiving it on their first day of work; and

- maintains a website for workers to access all relevant materials related to trainings, the company’s public statement and guidelines, as well as the CBA.

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