Katherine Tai, Trade Representative of the United States, announced that the VU Manufacturing company made the decision of closing its facilities in Piedras Negras, Coahuila; before complying with the remediation plan that was proposed in order to prevent the violation of workers’ rights and was a part of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) within the framework of the USMCA.
In a press release, the American government official recalled that on March of this year, the United States and Mexico announced a remediation plan for addressing the current denial of rights at the facilities of the VU Manufacturing automotive components company, but it was not addressed.
“The RRM process provides an opportunity for the United States and Mexico to negotiate remediation plans, which are detailed agreements between the Parties that include specific commitments to address the identified denials of rights. The United States has negotiated remediation plans with Mexico to address denials of rights in six RRM matters”, she explained.
In this unprecedented case, the trade representative called upon the Mexican authorities to verify that the workers are terminated in accordance with Mexican legal provisions.
Ambassador Katherine Tai added that “The United States will continue to monitor the situation regarding Manufacturas VU to verify that the rights of workers previously employed by the company are respected, that outstanding wages are paid, and that neither the company nor any potential successors violate the terms of the USMCA.”
In this manner, the government of the United States and Mexico considered the labor complaint against the VU Manufacturing company as being closed.
In this regard, Pablo Franco, representative of ILAW Network in Mexico, said that the decision of closing the complaint against VU Manufacturing “is a serious precedent, which calls the effectiveness of the rapid response mechanism into question. Above all, in this case, it is a company with North American capital.”
For his part, Óscar de la Vega, a specialist in the matter, said that “the VU processes prove the serious risk that the country is in as a consequence of the labor commitments deriving from the USMCA in collective bargaining and freedom of association matters.” He argued that “in the case of VU, the pressure on the company was so strong that it decided to close its operations in Mexico.”