US officials on Wednesday asked Mexico to investigate whether workers at an auto parts factory in panasonic they were denied labor rights, marking the third U.S. labor complaint under a new trade agreement that seeks to improve labor conditions in Mexico.
The request of United States Trade Representative (USTR) comes after a Mexican union petitioned Washington in April to investigate the Panasonic plant in the northern border city of Reynosa, alleging violations of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (TMEC).
United States Trade Representative, katherine taihe said in a letter to the Mexican Ministry of Economy, Tatiana Clouthierthat his office was concerned that workers were being denied the rights to free association and collective bargaining in Panasonic Automotive Systems of Mexico.
Panasonic Corporation He assured in a statement that “he respects and supports the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining of our employees” and that he does not believe he has denied these rights.
The unit of the Japanese industrial conglomerate added that it “will continue to comply with all legal requirements … and will cooperate with the authorities as requested by the Mexican government in their review.”
“When concerns arise, we will work quickly to defend workers on both sides of the border,” Tai said in a statement.
The secretaries of Economy and of Worked of Mexico did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters. The Mexican government has 10 days to agree to a review.
The Mexican union that requested the investigation, SNITISaccused panasonic to sign a union contract behind the workers’ backs and to fire several dozen employees who protested.