MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. labor officials have turned down a Mexican union’s request for a probe into alleged worker rights abuses at BBB Industries in northern Mexico under the terms of a regional trade pact, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) office said on Thursday.
Under the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which has tougher labor rules than its predecessor agreement, activists have increasingly flagged alleged misconduct around union representation and demanded higher wages after years of stagnate pay.
The petition from Mexican union SNITIS over BBB Industries in the border city of Reynosa, which refurbishes auto parts, did not reach a standard of a “sufficient, credible evidence of a denial of rights” to trigger USMCA enforcement tools, the USTR said in a statement.
SNITIS had said in a petition to the U.S. government last month that BBB Industries workers were intimidated and threatened during a contract vote, among other irregularities.
The Alabama-based company said it respects the rights of workers to choose a union of their choice and welcomes any government probe. It previously denied the allegations by SNITIS and said it followed procedure to ensure fair voting.
SNITIS said it was disappointed by the USTR decision.
“We will continue demanding action from the authorities to redress this denial of labor rights,” it said in a statement.
The U.S. government has filed five labor complaints under the USMCA since last year, including at a General Motors (NYSE:) plant and a Stellantis-owned factory.
by : Reuters