Mexico asked by US to investigate labor rights at auto parts factory

WASHINGTON D.C.: The US has again asked Mexico to investigate claims that workers at an auto parts facility of American company VU Manufacturing are being denied their labor rights.

This was the sixth time that the US has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and the first in 2023.

In September, the two countries announced that workers at the plant were able to elect the union of their choice, effectively resolving an earlier complaint made under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

This week, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said, "Despite this facility taking positive actions in 2022, some of the failures we identified previously appear to be recurring. We look forward to working with the government of Mexico to promptly address this issue."

Michigan-based VU Manufacturing’s plant, located in the border city of Piedras Negras, manufactures interior car parts, including arm rests and door upholstery.

After activists accused the company of interfering in the ability of workers to choose their union, the Biden administration first called for a probe into the Mexican plant in July.

"This is the second time in less than a year we have received allegations of workers’ rights violations by VU Manufacturing," US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said.

The Biden administration has said that it received a petition from two Mexican labor organizations in December, which claimed that workers at VU Manufacturing were being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.