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U.S. files labor complaint against Mexican factory under USMCA enforcement rules

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The United States asked Mexico on Wednesday to review whether workers at an auto parts factory were denied labor rights in the second labor complaint brought by the Biden administration under the new North American trade deal in less than a month.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office said it made the request involving the Tridonex auto parts factory in the northern border city of Matamoros. This came after the AFL-CIO union federation petitioned the agency to review the case over allegations that the factory denied workers collective bargaining and free association rights. read more

The complaint was brought under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement's "Rapid Response Labor Mechanism," which allows review of factory-specific labor grievances and could ultimately result in import restrictions on the plant's products.

"The rapid response mechanism was created to quickly address labor disputes, and this announcement demonstrates our commitment to using the tools in the agreement to stand up for workers at home and abroad," U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

Tai in May brought a USMCA labor complaint against a General Motors Co (GM.N) pickup truck plant in the central city of Silao over the handling of a union contract vote that was scrapped in April. read more

The labor enforcement mechanism was put into the USMCA trade deal to combat denials of labor rights that critics of the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade deal blame for keeping Mexican wages chronically low, and tempting American companies to move their production south of the U.S. border.

Cardone Industries Inc, the Philadelphia-based parent company of Tridonex, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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