FRIDAY: Presser on Tridonex USMCA Labor Case

New Lawsuit Against Matamoros Subsidiary of U.S. Autoparts Maker Filed before Mexico’s Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board by Independent Union “SNITIS” to Win Control of Collective Bargaining Agreement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2021
CONTACT: Matt Groch mgroch@citizen.org (202) 454-5111

MEDIA ADVISORY

Mexican and U.S. Unions, Civil Society Groups Call on Mexican and U.S. Governments to Redress Tridonex Labor Rights Violations in Accordance with USMCA Labor Rules

WHAT: Press conference after SNITIS’ (Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadores de Industrias y Servicios “Movimiento 20/32”) files a new lawsuit in Mexico City against Tridonex and SITPME (Sindicato Industrial de Trabajadores en Plantas Maquiladoras y Ensambladoras de Matamoros y su Municipio) to gain control over the collective bargaining agreement that covers Tridonex plants in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The denial of Tridonex workers’ right to organize is the basis for the labor Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) complaint submitted by AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Public Citizen and SNITIS under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The petitioners seek a comprehensive remedy to redress the labor rights violations against SNITIS members and their representatives.

WHO:   Susana Prieto Terrazas, SNITIS MOVEMENT 20/32, labor lawyer and activist

María del Rosario Moreno Delgado, SNITIS MOVEMENT 20/32, General Secretary

Jaime Guarneros Requena, SNITIS MOVEMENT 20/32, Former General Secretary

Victor Ortega González, Monte de Piedad Workers’ Democratic Union, Counselor

Daniel Rangel, Public Citizen, Research Director, Global Trade Watch

AFL-CIO representative

WHEN: Friday, July 16 at 11:00 a.m. CDMX

HOW: The press conference will be livestreamed here.

BACKGROUND: On May 10, 2021, the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, Public Citizen and SNITIS filed the first complaint under the Rapid Response Mechanism of the USMCA against Tridonex, an auto parts factory located in Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas. Mexico. The RRM is the first targeted, facility-specific enforcement mechanism for labor violations contained in a U.S. free trade agreement. On June 9the United States Trade Representative (USTR) formally requested Mexico to review whether workers at the Tridonex are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.

The case is testing whether Mexico’s labor reforms and USMCA’s Rapid Response Mechanism can deliver for Mexican workers denied their fundamental right to organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions. For two years, workers at Tridonex have been harassed and fired for trying to organize with SNITIS, an independent Mexican union of their choice, to replace a corrupt “protection” union. Their lawyer, Susana Prieto Terrazas, gained international media notice after the Tamaulipas governor, who is opposed to labor reform, had her jailed for a month in a COVID-ridden state penitentiary on trumped-up charges. Prieto was only released after agreeing to internal exile in another Mexican state and a ban on appearing in labor court.

Local authorities failed to act upon a collective bargaining agreement control demand filed by SNITIS for over a year, denying workers the opportunity to vote for the union of their choosing. The inaction of the local conciliation and arbitration boards is at the core of the RRM complaint. Now, SNITIS expects that the federal authorities provide the justice that the local ones denied and are filing a new demand before the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board. The outcome of this demand is decisive for Tridonex workers’ ability to exercise their rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining.

 

 

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