Senior Manager, Employment Policy
August 23, 2021
The first USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism case is coming to a close following a historic vote that took place over the course of two days.
Mexican government officials, members of the International Labor Organization, and representatives from the National Electoral Institute observed close to 6,000 GM employees cast a vote deciding whether to reinstate the Miguel Trujillo Lopez Trade Union collective bargaining agreement. 3,214 employees cast the majority vote to terminate the collective agreement, potentially opening the door for the workers at the Silao plant to vote on new union representation. Alternatively, there is a possibility that the current union will attempt to negotiate a new contract with the facility’s workers. Workers could also attempt to form their own independent union. More will likely be known after Mexico’s labor inspectorate reviews and certifies last week’s vote.
The Miguel Trujillo Lopez Trade Union stated its respect for the employees who voted to terminate the current agreement. GM also announced its respect for the outcome and said it will continue to abide by the current agreement until employees vote on a new contract.
Ensuring this free and fair vote took place by August 20, 2021, was one of the stipulations of the remediation agreed to by the U.S. and Mexico. As long as the remaining actions are completed, the complaint will close on September 20, 2021. This will mark the first labor complaint to be fully reconciled under the UMSCA. Background information about the GM labor complaint can be found here.
While the GM case is slowing down, labor reform in Mexico is not. Votes to legitimize all current collective bargaining agreements will begin this October in 13 Mexican states. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that the process which just took place at the GM Silao facility “serves as a good case study and provides critical information” as Mexico pursues full implementation of its new labor law.