Biden Wins USMCA Case
Biden has won an important case under the USMCA to help Mexican GM workers
In a major win for workers and the Biden Administration, the United States has reached a deal with Mexican officials to give workers at a Mexican General Motors plant the ability to freely and democratically vote on representation and a collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement comes after the Biden administration filed a complaint in May with Mexican officials using a “rapid response” clause in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The new agreement included language giving factory workers in the United States, Canada and Mexico the right to form unions and authorized penalties for factories that violated workers’ rights of free association and collective bargaining.
“Reaching an agreement with Mexico on a remediation plan shows the U.S.M.C.A.’s potential to protect workers’ rights and the benefits of a worker-centered trade policy,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. “Fully implementing and enforcing the U.S.M.C.A. not only helps workers there, it also helps American workers by preventing trade from becoming a race to the bottom.”
The plant, which is located in Silao Mexico voted in April on a collective bargaining agreement, but the United States said the vote was rife with “serious violations” of workers’ rights. Under the new agreement, a vote will be held by August 20th and Mexico’s Labor Ministry will oversee to ensure that the voting area is secure and ballots are safeguarded. If the vote does not occur, the collective bargaining agreement will be terminated, but workers will retain their rights and other unions can negotiate on behalf of workers.
In a statement to the New York Times, General Motors said “General Motors is pleased that Mexico has completed its review of the union’s vote on a collective bargaining agreement at our plant in Silao and that the U.S. and Mexico agreed on a remediation plan to support a free and fair vote in August.”