U.S. officials applaud Mexico for assuring ‘fair and safe’ union vote at auto parts plant

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on Tuesday lauded Mexico’s efforts to assure a “fair and safe” union vote at the Tridonex auto parts plant, and said they would continue to press Mexico to advance labor rights.

Date: March 2nd, 2022

Source: Reuters

Tai said the U.S. would monitor Mexico’s certification of Monday’s vote, which came after a settlement reached with Tridonex following a U.S. complaint filed under a labor enforcement mechanism in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

“Workplace democracy is a cornerstone of the USMCA’s labor provisions. People on both sides of the border win when workers can choose their union representation in a free and fair manner – and without delay,” Tai said.

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GM Workers in Mexico Vote to Join New Union

Workers at a General Motors Co. (GM) plant in Mexico have voted in favor of union representation. 

Date: Feb. 14th, 2022

Source: National Law Review

The vote was made possible by Mexico’s new labor law, which was enacted as a result of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

This unprecedented vote sets up one of the first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations under Mexico’s reformed labor law. The negotiations likely will test Mexico’s new labor law and have significant ramifications for U.S. employers and suppliers who do business or rely on the supply chain in Mexico.

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Only 3% of domestic workers enjoy social security benefits

Date: February 3, 2022

Source: Mexico News Daily

The Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that domestic workers must must have access to social security benefits like any other worker, but only 3% actually do, according to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Belén Sanz Luque, Mexico representative of UN Women, said that 97% of Mexico’s 2.2 million domestic workers – most of whom are women – are employed informally and don’t receive benefits such as health care and paid vacations.

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GM Mexico workers elect independent union by wide margin

Date: February 03, 2022

Source: Automotive News

An independent labor union supported by international activists has won a vote to represent workers at a General Motors’ pickup-truck plant in the central Mexican city of Silao, Mexico’s federal labor center said on Thursday.

The union, SINTTIA, beat three rivals by a wide margin, including Mexico’s biggest labor organization that had held the contract for 25 years.

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Conditions at a General Motors Plant in Mexico Spur a Labor Challenge

Mexican salaries are low, partly because of unions that collude with employers. Workers at a G.M. factory are challenging that system, testing the labor reforms in the reworked North American trade deal.

Date: Feb. 2, 2022

Source: New York Times

SILAO, Mexico — When he got a job with General Motors in Mexico, Guillermo Ramírez thought it was his ticket out of poverty. But a decade later, Mr. Ramírez says he still doesn’t earn enough to care for his three children. They eat at his mother’s house, while he skips meals and borrows a car to take his 7-month-old baby, who suffers from seizures, to the hospital.

“You’re earning so little,” said Mr. Ramírez. “It makes you feel useless.”

Mexico has transformed into an industrial powerhouse over the last two decades, attracting a torrent of investment from some of the world’s largest companies. And yet, a stubborn problem persists: Though the country has become one of the richest in Latin America, its workers still earn among the lowest salaries of almost any nation in the region.

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Union battle unfolds at GM in Mexico ahead of workers’ vote

MEXICO CITY, Jan 31 (Reuters) – More than 6,000 General Motors (GM.N) workers in Mexico will elect a new union this week as an upstart group supported by international activists aims to beat one of Mexico’s biggest labor organizations that held the contract for 25 years.

Date: Jan. 31st, 2022

Source: Reuters

The vote is one of the first under a labor reform that underpins a new trade deal with Canada and the United States, and aims to help improve pay by breaking the grip of unions that critics say signed deals with companies behind workers’ backs. Also under the law, workers at state oil company Pemex elect a new union chief on Monday in their first ever direct vote.

The GM vote, set for Tuesday and Wednesday at the pickup truck plant in the central city of Silao, comes after workers in August dissolved their contract with the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM). The vote was monitored by U.S. officials, who threatened to impose tariffs on GM exports under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal if the automaker did not protect worker rights.

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Mexico to promote job creation schemes in Caribbean, official says


Source: Reuters

Mexico plans to promote job creation programs in the Caribbean that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rolled out in southern Mexico and parts of Central America to stem migration, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Monday.

The programs, “Sembrando Vida,” (Sowing Life) a tree-planting drive, and “Jovenes Construyendo el Futuro,” (Youths Building the Future) a work scheme for young adults, are part of Lopez Obrador’s plan to slow migration by helping poor regions like southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.


Failure to pay aguinaldo triggers massive protest in Oaxaca city


Source: Mexico News Daily

Thousands of municipal workers took to the streets of Oaxaca city on Tuesday to protest the government’s failure to pay their end-of-year salary supplement.

Members of five unions, among whom are administrative workers, waste collectors and transit police, demanded payment of their aguinaldo, a payment usually equivalent to an employee’s fortnightly wage. By law, it must be paid by December 20.


Michoacán teachers maintain their stand: no classes, rail blockades continue


Source: Mexico News Daily

Members of the CNTE teachers union will maintain their rail blockades in Michoacán and won’t return to the classroom because the state government still owes salary payments dating back to August, union leaders said Sunday.

Gamaliel Guzmán, leader of Section 18 of the dissident union, said the Michoacán government has paid teachers for the first half of October and the second half of September but still owes wages corresponding to the first half of last month and all of August.


U.S. monitor flags ‘weaknesses’ in Mexico’s drive to boost worker rights


Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Mexico’s effort to stamp out employment contracts signed behind the backs of workers has “significant weaknesses” and should be reformed, said a U.S. advisory board that monitors Mexico’s compliance with a new regional trade pact.

The Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board (IMLEB), which was created by the U.S. Congress, flagged a disputed ballot at a General Motors plant as an example of shortfalls in a new Mexican labor law requiring “legitimation” votes in a bid to end the widespread practice of unions and companies signing contracts without workers’ knowledge.