MEXICO CITY, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. and Mexican
governments have resolved a labor dispute at a Mexican unit of
Stellantis, officials said on Tuesday, marking the
latest blow by a recent trade pact against entrenched unions
seen as cozy with management.
The agreement at Teksid Hierro de Mexico marks the fourth
labor probe to be concluded under the 2020 United
States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which has tougher labor
rules than the earlier NAFTA, and ends one of Mexico's
longest-running labor conflicts.
Reuters reported last week that Teksid, which employs some
1,500 people, expected to close the case without going to a
dispute panel after the company recognized an independent union,
a move workers attributed to U.S. pressure under the USMCA.
Workers since 2014 had fought to establish a union known as
The Miners at the Teksid plant in the northern state of
Coahuila, and accused the company of colluding with a powerful
rival union to block their efforts.
U.S. labor officials said workers at the plant, which makes
parts for heavy vehicles including Cummins, Volvo
and Mack trucks, were previously denied their rights
to choose their union and do collective bargaining.
The USMCA resolution "will help end eight years of rights
violations against Teksid workers," U.S. Labor Secretary Marty
Walsh said in a statement.
As part of the agreement, the unit of Italian-French
carmaker Stellantis in July agreed to re-hire, with back pay, 36
workers who said they had been fired in retaliation for
supporting the union, which also represents metalworkers and
The company on Tuesday said it "diligently cooperated" with
U.S. and Mexican officials during the process. Stellantis
previously said it respects collective bargaining rights and
will comply with local laws.
Mexico's government will continue monitoring the plant, the
U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement.
The USTR filed a complaint with Mexican officials in June
after reviewing a petition filed by The Miners, the AFL-CIO
labor federation and the United Auto Workers union, which
represents U.S. Stellantis workers. Mexican
officials who reviewed the case ultimately determined workers
had been denied their rights.
The Trump-era USMCA, which aims to reduce the vast wage gap
between U.S. and Mexican workers, has helped several factories
in Mexico oust long-established company-friendly unions in favor
of independent groups that vow to press for better pay.
Companies have closely watched the cases play out under the
trade pact's "Rapid Response" enforcement tool that aims to
swiftly resolve complaints and can impose export tariffs at
workplaces that violate worker rights.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City; Additional
reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by
Christian Plumb and Alistair Bell)