AP and Reuters

US asks Mexico for fresh workers“ rights review at auto parts facility


U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai chairs the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework meeting in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. May 27, 2023. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

The U.S. made another appeal to Mexico to review alleged labor violations under a regional trade pact on Monday, with the latest investigation centered on a Teklas Automotive facility in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes.

The latest review marks the U.S. Trade Representative office’s 14th labor rights complaint against facilities in Mexico since the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade took effect in 2020, including nine this year.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the request was intended to “address a serious violation of workers’ rights” at the automotive parts factory, involving an employer possibly terminating workers for engaging in union activity.

“Today’s action underscores the United States’ unceasing commitment to using the tools established in the USMCA to protect workers’ rights to organize for and join the union of their choice,” Tai said in a statement.

Teklas, which was founded in the 1970s in Turkey and later expanded to Europe, North America, and China, calls itself a “leading” global supplier of automotive fluid systems with 12 plants in six countries, according to its website.

Washington wants the Mexican government to review the matter under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.

The Mexican government has ten days to review the U.S. request, and if it accepts, another 45 days to investigate the case.

Mexico has recently denied two requests for probes into labor rights concerns, rejecting a U.S. call to review Grupo Yazaki’s auto components factory in the state of Guanajuato and also a Grupo Mexico mine labor probe.

Teklas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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