U.S., Mexico resolve Panasonic auto elements plant labor dispute

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WASHINGTON — The US and Mexico introduced a decision to a dispute at a Panasonic auto elements plant in Mexico on Thursday, with staff receiving an above-inflation pay rise after the agency rejected an settlement with a union that lacked lawful bargaining authority.

The settlement concerned the Panasonic Automotive Methods facility within the northern border metropolis of Reynosa, Mexico, “the place staff have been beforehand denied their freedom of affiliation and collective bargaining rights,” the U.S. Commerce Consultant mentioned (USTR) mentioned in a press release.

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Employees are set to get a 9.5% wage improve below a contract negotiated by a just lately elected unbiased union, coming as Mexican annual inflation is working at a 21-year excessive of practically 8.0%.

The settlement marks the second time {that a} case scrutinized below the two-year-old United States-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA), has helped staff obtain wage will increase after bringing in an unbiased union of their alternative.

Employees at Common Motors within the central Mexican metropolis of Silao scored an 8.5% elevate in a negotiation between the corporate and their new union earlier this yr.

Along with scrapping a bargaining settlement with a union that lacked authority, the Panasonic plant agreed to take away the union, reimburse staff for union dues deducted from paychecks, and acknowledge an unbiased union, SNITIS, USTR mentioned. Panasonic additionally employed again 19 staff who had been dismissed after what they mentioned was a reprisal for backing SNITIS.

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“We’re happy with the truth that USTR has terminated the continuing below the rapid-response labor mechanism of the USMCA, and that the USA and Mexico are in settlement that there isn’t a ongoing denial of our staff’ rights,” Panasonic North America mentioned in emailed feedback.

Panasonic mentioned it absolutely helps its staff’ rights of freedom of affiliation and collective bargaining.

Mexico’s Labor Ministry mentioned all the points raised within the investigation had been resolved, and that it will monitor the plant to make sure the re-hired staff may freely help the union of their alternative.

U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai in Could requested the Mexican authorities to evaluate the matter below the USMCA’s Fast Response Labor Mechanism.

“At present’s announcement is yet one more instance of the Biden-Harris Administration’s dedication to defending the rights of staff, together with those who stay past our borders,” Tai mentioned within the assertion.

The incident marked the third U.S. labor grievance below a brand new commerce deal that goals to enhance office circumstances in Mexico. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington, Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico Metropolis; Modifying by Leslie Adler, Nick Zieminski and Diane Craft)

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