Mexican authorities have ordered the General Motors (GM) Co in Silao to reconsider the vote of workers following pressure from US lawmakers to issue violent measures that could violate trade agreements.
The Mexican Ministry of Labor said Tuesday it had found “serious flaws” in last month’s vote, which is needed in line with a change in employment in Mexico to ensure that workers do not enter into agreements signed behind them and to be kept to a minimum.
Such a vote is part of Mexico’s efforts to promote workers’ rights as part of a free trade agreement that entitles the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.
GM’s grievances come amid growing concern over recent days of violence in Mexico, as U.S. and politicians begin to shift new powers to force workers across the southern border to the United States-Mexico-Canada Coalition (USMCA). .
The largest U.S. agency, AFL-CIO, on Monday urged the U.S. government to file a complaint under the USMCA against Tridonex, a parking lot on the Mexican border in the city of Matamoros in which it said workers had been closed for choosing an independent union.
What can happen
In the case of GM, some votes were cast during a vote-led vote, a Mexican trade office found. It also said the union, which is part of the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), had refused to give supervisors their work permits.
U.S. diplomats Dan Kildee, Bill Pascrell and Earl Blumenauer, both Democrats, called on GM to answer questions about possible violence.
U.S. automotive manufacturer “has a responsibility to speak out against labor violations and human rights at the Silao GM plant,” he wrote in a letter to GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra.
The lawmakers also commented on reports that GM officials had removed independent supervisors, among other ways to intimidate workers.
The GM has denied any wrongdoing and said state-sanctioned supervisors were not allowed to enter the polling station. It also said it condemned human rights abuses and hired a third party to review it.
The GM coalition must have a new vote within 30 days, the ministry said, with the first vote “violating safety and security standards”.
Hugo Varela, CTM chief in Guanajuato state, where Silao’s plant is located, did not respond to a request for comment. Earlier he said the CTM was committed to complying with the law and retaining employment in Mexico.
A spokesman for the US Trade Representative’s office declined to comment on GM.
Follow the rights of the workers
A contested vote in Silao, which employs about 6,000 people, came just days before GM announced a $ 1bn bid for power stations in Mexico, which criticized United Auto Workers.
UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg told Reuters news agency this week that he was “concerned and discussing the matter” in a Mexican vote.
In addition, Union Global Global Unions and Toronto Unifor said in letters to GM President Mark Reuss last week that the move appeared to violate the USMCA and encourage GM to protect workers.
Unifor president Jerry Dias has expressed his anger and said he will explore “all possible means” to support the rights of workers in Mexico, including conflict resolution tools under the auspices of the USMCA.
Biden officials are prioritizing the implementation of the agreement with their US counterparts. Democrats and American labor organizations have established strict labor laws in Mexico a key factor in securing their support for the US-Mexico-Canada Treaty that went into effect in July. They were concerned that the USMCA agreement had failed.