US urges Mexico to check whether Stellandis spare parts factory abused workers’ rights

Illustration shows Stellantis logo

The United States’ request to Mexico to investigate possible abuses at Texit Hierro in Mexico City, in the northern border state of Cochrane, is part of the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Teksid, which employs about 1,500 people and manufactures cast iron parts for heavy vehicles, has been embroiled in a union dispute since 2014. The workers claim that the company prevented them from representing the miners’ union of their choice and fired them. Who supported the group.

The US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) said in a statement that it was concerned that workers had been denied the right to negotiate a “valid” agreement with the Mexican Federation of Labor (CTM). The most powerful unions in Mexico, they are registered with the state authorities.

The office asked Mexico to investigate whether any attempts had been made, including threats and incitement, to encourage support for the CTM or to block support for the miners’ union.

Labor disputes in Mexico have long been marked by the oppressive tactics of powerful unions closer to employers and governments than to workers. Under the USMCA, the Trade Agreement, which changed NAFTA, allowed factories that violated workers’ rights to lose their tariff-exempt status.

Companies are watching to see how strict work rules are applied.

Stellantis, the world’s fourth largest carmaker, did not respond to a request for comment as a result of the merger of the Peugeot PSA and Fiat Chrysler. He has previously stated that he values ​​collective bargaining rights.

The USTR office said potential violations had been reported by the United Auto Workers ‘Union, which represents American workers in Stellandis, as well as the AFL-CIO trade union and the Miners’ Union.

Teksid, CTM and the local conciliation and arbitration tribunal should be included in the review, he said.

CTM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Coahuila union leader Thereso Medina recently told the Mexican newspaper El Economista that the union would be bound by the USMCA and that the dispute would be resolved by workers’ vote. In May, Mexico’s Federal Labor Center said only the Mining Workers’ Union had a valid contract.

Mexico’s finance minister has said he will decide within 10 days whether to comply with the U.S. request.

U.S. officials have already begun labor investigations into U.S. automaker General Motors, U.S. factory Tridonex and Japanese company Panasonic.

U.S. Representative Bill Basrell and several Democrat lawmakers welcomed the new complaint, urging Stellandis to co-operate with US and Mexican officials to secure workers’ “democratic representation.”

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

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