Just since North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations started, three labor activists at the Media Luna gold mine southwest of Mexico City were murdered by anti-union vigilantes. A fourth, Oscar Hernández Romero, disappeared in September 2019.
After decades of worker intimidation throughout Mexico and impunity for the perpetrators, Mexican manufacturing wages are now 40% lower than in China. U.S. firms have outsourced almost one million U.S. jobs to exploit these $1-2/hour artificially low wages thanks to NAFTA’s lack of enforceable labor rights.
Strong labor rights and enforcement in a NAFTA replacement deal could help counter the specter of violence and death that strangles the fight for decent wages and working conditions in Mexico. But for almost a year, Donald Trump has stonewalled calls for such improvements.
The new Mexican government has pledged to improve wages and labor protections. But powerful forces arrayed against change have launched lawsuits to derail an improved Mexican labor law. Plus, the Mexican government has not provided necessary funding for new worker protections.
Strong labor rights and enforcement in a NAFTA replacement deal could help counter the specter of violence and death that strangles the fight for decent wages and working conditions in Mexico. This would improve the lives of Mexican and U.S. working people.
We demand justice for Oscar Hernández Romero, Quintin Salgado, Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña and Víctor Sahuanitla Peña.
A real NAFTA replacement must protect ALL workers: that means guaranteeing their right to organize and ending the extrajudicial repression of activists.