© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – Marty Walsh, U.S. secretary of labor, speaks at a briefing regarding the bipartisan infrastructure law, held at the White House, Washington, U.S.A., May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo
MEXICO CITY (Stocksak – The U.S. Trade Rep. has declined to file a claim with Mexico regarding alleged worker rights violations at a Saint-Gobain Glass plant. He stated that the situation had improved since workers elected an independent union.
Last month, the largest U.S. labor union asked the U.S. government for a complaint. This was the latest in a series under the United States-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), trade pact. It alleged rights violations in Mexico.
One of the central tenets of USMCA, an agreement forged at the behest the United States, was that it would improve Mexico’s working conditions and help to stem the loss in U.S. manufacturing jobs for its lower-cost neighbor.
The AFL-CIO and United Steelworkers, two major U.S unions, accused the Mexican arm France’s Saint-Gobain of supporting its long-standing union over a new, independent competitor.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), though calling the allegations “troubling,” stated that workers had voted for the new union during its initial review.
Joaquin Guzman the union leader stated that he would have preferred for the United States follow through on the case. The union will soon be negotiating a new collective agreement, which will seek higher wages.
Guzman stated, “We’d like for the company to act in good faith because it knew about the possible labour complaint.” “I hope the denial doesn’t change my company’s thoughts.”
Saint-Gobain did not respond to our request for comment.
U.S. and Mexican officials would monitor the situation, USTR reported. USTR noted that Saint-Gobain had issued a statement recognising the new union.
“The situation at this facility improved for workers,” it stated in a statement. “Further immediate actions on the petition are not required at this time.”
Cathy Feingold, AFL-CIO International Director said that the federation would ensure that Saint-Gobain does not bargain in bad faith for a new contract. She urged the United States to investigate the matter.
Five other USMCA complaints have been filed by U.S. officials since last year.