LatinNews Daily - 19 May 2022

In brief: US files third labour complaint in Mexico

*Mexico’s economy ministry (SE) has said it will review a complaint filed through the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)’s rapid response labour mechanism (RRLM) stating that workers at a Panasonic auto parts plant in Reynosa city, Tamaulipas state, had been denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining. The complaint was the result of an inquiry requested by independent trade union, Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadores de Industrias y Servicios (SNITIS). Days after submitting the petition, SNITIS was voted in to become the new workers’ union at the plant. “The [Joe] Biden Administration believes in standing up for workers' rights no matter where they live,” wrote US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Twitter. “We will work with Mexico to make sure these issues are resolved quickly.”  Previously, two similar complaints had been filed through the USMCA labour dispute resolution mechanism on behalf of workers at a plant operated by US automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) in Mexico’s Silao municipality, Guanajuato state, and a Tridonex automotive parts factory in Matamoros city, Tamaulipas state. Workers at both factories went on the elect independent unions to represent them, in what Tai called “a victory for workers”. Last week, the new union at the GM plant successfully negotiated an 8.5% wage increase for workers.

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