Mexico, U.S. agree on General Motors Silao union vote on 20 August

by SpeedLux
General Motors

The United States and Mexico on Thursday have agreed that a new union vote will be held at the General Motors’ Silao plant by August 20, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) and Mexico’s economy ministry.

Both countries issued a joint statement that said Mexico has agreed on numerous safeguards before the vote, including having Mexican federal inspectors and impartial international observers from the International Labor Organization at the facility before the vote.

Mexico said in May that it would review labor practices at the automaker’s plant in central Mexico following a formal complaint from USTR.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement the agreement with Mexico will permit workers to vote on whether to approve their collective bargaining agreement in “free and democratic conditions.” She praised Mexico “for taking swift action when they recognized that workers’ rights were denied”.

Mexico’s labor ministry said in June that the union at the plant, which has hired about 6,000 people in the central city of Silao, must hold a new vote before August 20 or lose the contract altogether.

GM said in a statement it was happy with the agreement between the United States and Mexico “to support a free and fair vote in August. We look forward to keep working with U.S. and Mexican government officials in support of the shared goal to protect workers’ rights”.

USTR said the automaker will issue a statement of neutrality ahead of the vote and have a zero-tolerance policy for retaliation.

The U.S. official confirmed the contract would be terminated if the vote does not take place by August 20. The Labor Ministry will observe the vote, ensure the ballots and voting area are secure, the official added, saying there will be over five times as many Mexican federal inspectors compared to the vote earlier.

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