U.S. blocking tomato shipments from Mexican farms accused of abusing workers


Source: Los Angeles Times

An export powerhouse that provides much of America’s vegetables, the Mexican produce industry in recent years has followed up on some promised reforms aimed at preventing the abuse of farmworkers. But a recent move by the Biden administration accusing two large Mexican agribusinesses of forced labor abuses has brought fresh scrutiny of the industry.

The administration is blocking all tomato shipments from the agribusinesses based in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, under a “withhold release order” handed down in late October by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


Ford to suspend production for two days at Mexico plant on material shortage


Source: Reuters

U.S. automaker Ford will temporarily suspend production from Oct. 11-12 at its Hermosillo plant in Mexico because of a shortage of material, the plant’s labor union said on Thursday.

Workers will be paid 75% of salaries on those days, the union added in a statement.

Ford produces its Bronco Sport SUV at the Hermosillo plant in Sonora. It did not specify which materials were in short supply.


UPDATE 1-GM workers in Mexico defeat union in first test of US trade deal


Source: Yahoo! Finance

MEXICO CITY, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Workers at a General Motors pickup plant in the central Mexican city of Silao have voted to scrap their collective contract, opening the door for them to oust one of Mexico’s largest labor organizations as their union in a historic move.

The vote marked the first test of labor rules under a new trade deal that replaced the 1994 North American Free Agreement (NAFTA), with a series of safeguards agreed by Mexico and the United States to ensure a fair vote.


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.


U.S., Mexico settle first labor complaint under USMCA


Source: Politico

The U.S and Mexico have agreed to closely monitor a new union vote for workers at a General Motors facility in central Mexico after a weekslong investigation into complaints that their rights had been violated during a similar referendum earlier this year.

The resolution announced Thursday marks a milestone for resolving labor disputes under the landmark U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and comes as U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai concludes meetings with trade and labor officials in Mexico City to commemorate the deal’s one-year anniversary.


Under US pressure, Mexico orders GM to repeat worker vote


Al Jazeera

Mexican authorities have ordered the General Motors (GM) Co union in the city of Silao to repeat a worker vote following pressure from US legislators for the automaker to address alleged abuses that could potentially violate a new trade deal.

Mexico’s labour ministry said on Tuesday it found “serious irregularities” in last month’s vote, which is required under a Mexican labour reform to ensure employees are not bound to contracts that are signed behind their backs and to keep wages low.


U.S. Asks Mexico to Investigate Labor Issues at G.M. Facility


Source: The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it was asking Mexico to review whether labor violations had occurred at a General Motors facility in the country, a significant step using a new labor enforcement tool in the revised North American trade deal.

The administration is seeking the review under the novel “rapid response” mechanism in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement and took effect last summer. Under the mechanism, penalties can be brought against a specific factory for violating workers’ rights of free association and collective bargaining.


U.S. unions lodge first Mexico labor grievance under new NAFTA


Surce: Reuters

The AFL-CIO, the biggest U.S. labor federation, on Monday will file the first petition for the U.S. government to bring a labor complaint against Mexico under the trade deal that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement, the union said.

The AFL-CIO’s petition, which it shared with Reuters, states that workers at the auto parts plant Tridonex in Matamoros, a Mexican city on the border with Texas, were denied independent union representation in violation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that replaced NAFTA last year.


In Mexico autos town, labor rights falter despite U.S. trade deal


Source: Yahoo! News

MATAMOROS, Mexico (Reuters) – After successfully staging a wildcat strike for higher wages in 2019, many workers at the Tridonex auto-parts plant in the Mexican city of Matamoros, across the border from Texas, set their sights higher: replacing the union that they say failed to fight for them.

Six workers at the factory, which refits second-hand car parts for sale in the United States and Canada, told Reuters they felt let down that their union, SITPME, did not back their demands for better pay. About 400 Tridonex workers protested outside a Matamoros labor court last year to be allowed to switch unions.


Exclusive: Red tape, bad data and bribes endanger Mexico’s workers


Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Workplace accidents and deaths in Mexico routinely go unreported as companies flout labor laws and officials struggle to share data, a Thomson Reuters Foundation analysis found, with concerns that budget cuts and COVID-19 could put workers at greater risk.

Exclusively obtained data from public records requests and interviews with 10 current and former labor ministry officials revealed the system meant to keep workplaces safe and fair has been beset by corruption, bogus inspections, and a lack of data.