U.S. Unions Lodge First Mexico Labor Grievance Under New NAFTA



Daina Beth Solomon | Reuters

The AFL-CIO, the biggest U.S. labor federation, on Monday will file the first petition for the U.S. government to bring a labor complaint against Mexico under the trade deal that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement, the union said.

The AFL-CIO’s petition, which it shared with Reuters, states that workers at the auto parts plant Tridonex in Matamoros, a Mexican city on the border with Texas, were denied independent union representation in violation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that replaced NAFTA last year.

Since the 1994 NAFTA, which had few enforcement tools for labor rules, wages in Mexico have stagnated and now rank as the lowest in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a club of 37 industrialized nations.

The USMCA was designed to change that by giving more power to workers to demand better salaries, which was also meant to prevent low labor costs from leeching more U.S. jobs.

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