United States seeks Mexico’s review of alleged denial of workers’ rights at Goodyear plant

Washington, DC – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at a facility operated by Goodyear SLP, S. de R.L. de C.V. in the city and state of San Luis Potosí are being denied the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The request, which was made in response to a petition, marks the eighth time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Once again, the use of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism underscores our commitment to safeguarding workers’ rights and enforcing the USMCA,” Ambassador Katherine Tai said. “We remain committed to partnering with the Government of Mexico to support workers as they pursue better workplace conditions.”

“In rejecting the collective bargaining agreement, the workers at the Goodyear rubber tire facility in San Luis Potosi have expressed their will. We now look to Goodyear to treat their workers fairly and apply the sectoral agreement,” said Thea Lee, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. “The Mexican government has indicated its support for full implementation of the labor reform. Working together, we can address the issues in this case and make sure workers receive the benefits to which they are entitled by law.”

In connection with the U.S. request, Ambassador Tai directed the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the liquidation for all unliquidated entries of goods from the Goodyear SLP facility.

The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On April 20, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from the independent Mexican union La Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana (LSOM). The petition alleged that Goodyear SLP, which specializes in converting rubber into car tires, has not abided by the provisions in the sectoral collective bargaining agreement (contrato ley) covering the rubber industry and instead signed a singular CBA with benefits inferior to those in the contrato ley. In addition, since the petition was filed, a legitimization vote at the facility was canceled by the Government of Mexico due to significant irregularities. A new vote took place on May 7-8, 2023, which resulted in the singular CBA being voted down. At the time of this request, the company and Government of Mexico were pursuing legal action against the perpetrators of the criminal activities intended to influence the outcome of the first vote. The ILC reviews RRM petitions that it receives, and the accompanying information, within 30 days.

The ILC determined that there is sufficient, credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms. As a result, the United States Trade Representative has submitted a request to Mexico that Mexico review whether workers at the Goodyear facility are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Mexico has ten days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from today to complete the review.