U.S., Mexico agree deal to repair labor dispute at VU Manufacturing plant By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The brand of the VU Manufacturing auto elements manufacturing unit is pictured on the plant’s entrance, in Piedras Negras, Mexico, August 31, 2022. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -The U.S. and Mexico on Friday introduced a deal to resolve a U.S. labor criticism at VU Manufacturing in northern Mexico that requires the auto elements plant to let staff freely select their union consistent with a commerce pact geared toward enhancing labor rights.

Mexico’s authorities beforehand discovered “severe irregularities” on the manufacturing unit violating the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA), the second probe into the plant on the request of the U.S. following employee complaints.

Mexico has now agreed to begin sanctions proceedings in opposition to VU Manufacturing and make sure the agency takes “acceptable motion” in opposition to human useful resource personnel who violated employee rights, together with the potential for firing them, the accord mentioned.

“The brand new administration should affirm … its willingness to dialogue with all of the unions with out discrimination or favoritism,” mentioned the settlement revealed on the U.S. Commerce Consultant’s web site.

VU Manufacturing, an unlisted Michigan-based firm, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Employees who lately shaped a brand new union, La Liga, mentioned VU Manufacturing administration within the border metropolis of Piedras Negras had repeatedly stalled the union’s efforts to determine the plant’s first collective contract, which would come with a wage improve, and intimidated and harassed union supporters.

La Liga member Cristina Ramirez mentioned the U.S.-Mexico accord would profit staff if VU Manufacturing adopted by way of.

“After we have proved so many violations to our rights, the one true remediation is the signing of the collective contract,” she mentioned.

The plant produces automotive inside elements together with arm rests and door upholstery for manufacturers together with Toyota, Honda and Chrysler, and pays staff 312 pesos ($17.32) a day.

The U.S. mentioned it hoped Mexico’s efforts to repair the difficulty would discourage different companies from meddling in union affairs.

“This may ship a robust message past this facility,” mentioned Thea Lee, deputy undersecretary for worldwide affairs on the U.S. Labor Division.

The VU Manufacturing case is amongst a number of labor complaints filed by the U.S. in Mexico underneath USMCA. Others contain Common Motors (NYSE:), Stellantis and Panasonic (OTC:).

($1 = 18.0099 Mexican pesos)

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