July 15, 2021
Agreement reached on First Course of Remediation under the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism
The USMCA recently celebrated its one year anniversary, and there has been a flurry of activity around the agreement since July 1. The United States has displayed its utmost strength holding Mexico and Canada accountable and enforcing the provisions of the USMCA.
Just a week after the one-year anniversary of the USMCA entering into force, Mexico and the United States announced the first remediation agreement under the rapid-response mechanism in the USMCA. The mechanism is designed to swiftly investigate and mitigate labor complaints filed by any of the three nations. The initial complaint detailed reports of violations of worker protections at the General Motors manufacturing facility in Silao, Mexico.
The agreement concluded that union workers at the General Motors (GM) factory will have the chance to vote on collective bargaining before August 20, 2021. Additionally, approximately 32 federal inspectors will be present to secure voting and verify voter identification. This is a significant change from April and the last vote, where only six federal inspectors were present. The agreement also stipulates that there will be international observers from the International Labor Organization. Finally, GM will pledge to remain neutral during the voting process while also implementing a zero-tolerance policy for retaliation.
This was one of the first major tests for the USMCA, and demonstrated that the agreement is working as intended. The strict nature of USMCA when dealing with labor disputes and complaints proves to workers that their rights will not be infringed upon, and the enforcement mechanisms are effective in protecting the rights of workers. USMCA has seen disputes, triumphs and challenges, but still proves itself to be an agreement for the 21st century manufacturers, workers and businesses alike.