Home New mexico economy US calls on Mexico to investigate whether parts factory Stellantis abused labor rights

US calls on Mexico to investigate whether parts factory Stellantis abused labor rights

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MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON, June 6 (Reuters) – The United States has asked Mexico to investigate alleged worker rights abuses at an auto parts plant owned by French-Italian automaker Stellantis, the fourth complaint of this type under a revised trade deal, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The United States‘ request to Mexico to examine possible abuses at Teksid Hierro de Mexico in the northern border state of Coahuila falls under the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Teksid, which employs nearly 1,500 people and manufactures cast iron castings for heavy vehicles, has been embroiled in a union dispute since 2014. Workers say the company has blocked them from being represented by the group of their choice, the miners’ union, and that it fired workers who supported the group.

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The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in its request that it is concerned that workers have been denied the right to collective bargaining because of an “invalid” contract with the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM). , one of the strongest unions in Mexico, which had been registered with state authorities.

The bureau asked Mexico to investigate whether any efforts had been made, including threats and inducements, to encourage support for the CTM or to deter support for the Miners’ Union.

Labor disputes in Mexico have long been characterized by bullying tactics by powerful unions more comfortable with employers and governments than with workers. Under the USMCA, the trade pact that replaced NAFTA, factories that violate workers’ rights could lose their duty-free status.

Businesses have been watching how the stricter labor rules will play out.

Stellantis (STLA.MI), the world’s fourth-largest automaker formed from the merger of automaker Peugeot PSA and Fiat Chrysler, did not respond to a request for comment. He has previously said he respects collective bargaining rights.

The United Auto Workers union, which represents American workers at Stellantis, as well as the AFL-CIO labor federation and the miners’ union, reported the potential violations, the USTR office said.

Teksid, CTM and the Local Board of Conciliation and Arbitration should be included in the review, he added.

CTM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The leader of the union in Coahuila, Tereso Medina, recently told the Mexican newspaper El Economista that the union would respect the USMCA and that the dispute should be resolved by a workers’ vote. Mexico’s federal labor center said in May that the miners’ union held the only valid contract.

Mexico’s economy ministry said it would decide within 10 days whether to accept the US request.

US officials had previously opened labor investigations involving US automaker General Motors, US plant Tridonex and Japan’s Panasonic. Read more

U.S. Representative Bill Pasrell and several fellow Democratic lawmakers welcomed the new complaint and urged Stellantis to cooperate with U.S. and Mexican officials so workers can have “democratic representation.”

Stellantis operates seven other factories in Mexico, where it produced more than 400,000 vehicles last year.

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Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese, Alistair Bell and David Gregorio

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