Mexico, US Close VU Manufacturing Complaint in USMCA’s Fifth Labor Inquiry

Mexico, US Close VU Manufacturing Complaint in USMCA’s Fifth Labor Inquiry

Written by Dina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico and the United States resolved the latest in a string of labor complaints under a regional trade agreement, saying on Wednesday that workers at a VU Manufacturing auto parts plant in northern Mexico were able to elect their workers union. Cucumber.

US officials in July called for an investigation under the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the fifth such case aimed at improving workplace conditions in Mexico, after activists alleged the company interfered with workers’ efforts to choose their union.

Michigan-based VU Manufacturing, whose plant in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras produces auto interior parts including armrests and door upholstery, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

US labor officials said the Mexican government has educated workers and management training to ensure a fair union election on August 31, including requiring the company to issue a statement pledging to remain neutral.

The Mexican government also requested vote monitors from the Mexican Electoral Institute and the United Nations-backed International Labor Organization.

The workers eventually elected an independent union, La Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana, which would negotiate the plant’s first collective contract, covering about 400 people.

“Workers at the Sangas facility at U Auto Components now have a union – selected through fair elections – with which they consult as they prepare for negotiations,” US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in a statement.

The statement added that their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining was previously denied.

Mexico’s ministries of economy and labor have said a peaceful vote ensures workers can elect the group they believe will best represent their interests, and officials will continue to monitor workers’ rights in the factory.

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Previous labor complaints at the USMCA have led to investigations into Mexican plants owned by companies including automakers General Motors (NYSE:) and Stellantes.

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