By Daina Beth Solomon
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -U.S. labor officers on Wednesday requested Mexico to probe whether or not staff at a Panasonic (OTC:) auto elements manufacturing unit have been denied their rights, marking the third U.S. labor grievance underneath a brand new commerce deal that goals to enhance office circumstances in Mexico.
The request from the U.S. Commerce Consultant (USTR) follows a petition from a Mexican union asking the U.S. authorities to probe a Panasonic plant within the northern border metropolis of Reynosa, alleging violations of the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA).
U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai mentioned in a letter to Mexico’s Economic system Minister Tatiana Clouthier that the company was involved staff at Panasonic Automotive Programs de Mexico have been being denied rights to free affiliation and collective bargaining, in breach of the USMCA.
Panasonic Corp of North America mentioned it “respects and helps” these rights and that it didn’t consider they’d been denied. The unit of the Japanese conglomerate added it could cooperate with Mexican authorities.
Tai famous that earlier USMCA labor complaints – one focusing on automaker Basic Motors (NYSE:) and one other in opposition to auto elements plant Tridonex – led to employee advantages.
The U.S. authorities reached agreements with each firms with out imposing USMCA sanctions, which may embrace revoking tariff-free standing.
“When issues come up, we are going to work swiftly to face up for staff on either side of the border,” Tai mentioned in an announcement.
The Mexican authorities has 10 days to resolve whether or not to conduct a assessment. The financial system and labor ministries didn’t reply to requests for remark.
The Mexican union that requested the inquiry, SNITIS, accused Panasonic of signing a union contract behind staff’ backs and of firing a number of dozen staff who protested. Days after submitting the petition final month, SNITIS received a sweeping vote to turn out to be the plant’s new labor illustration.
U.S. Consultant Invoice Pascrell, a Democrat, referred to as for Panasonic to enter negotiations with SNITIS in good religion, and applauded the USTR grievance.
“Enhancing labor circumstances is completely wanted to make sure jobs right here at residence aren’t being undermined,” he mentioned.