Pascrell Supports Biden Administration’s Recognition of Labor Corruption in Mexico
US Trade Representative and US Department of Labor signals action to curb repeated anti-labor harassment and intimidation
Paterson, NJ, June 9, 2021
Tags: Labor & Trade
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today spoke in favor of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Walsh’s decision to accept the case submitted by the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadores de Industrias y de Servicios Movimiento 20/32 (SNITIS) and Public Citizen by asking Mexico to review whether workers at the Tridonex automotive parts facility in Matamoros, State of Tamaulipas, are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.
“Ambassador Katherine Tai and Secretary Marty Walsh’s acceptance of the case against Tridonex under the renegotiated NAFTA recognizes that the maddening cycle of corruption undermining labor rights in Mexico must come to an end,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Intimidation, harassment, and retaliation against workers lawfully seeking independent union representation must cease immediately. We expect a rapid and just resolution that supports the workers and Ms. Prieto for pain that has been endured.
Pascrell continued: “But there also must also be corporate accountability for violating our trade agreements. Given the longstanding issues of collusion between corrupt protection unions in Mexico and corporate and government actors, employers must speak out forcefully to denounce attacks on independent labor organizing and respect labor rights for workers.”
As a longtime former member on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, Rep. Pascrell was heavily involved in negotiations of the new NAFTA and repeatedly raised the importance of combatting anti-labor measures in Mexico. During the 2021 Biden Administration Trade Agenda hearing he secured a strong commitment from the administration to combat labor rights violations. He praised two rapid response complaints filed in May against labor suppression efforts in Mexico, the latest of which came just one day after Pascrell called on General Motors to address reports of labor violations at their plant in Mexico.
Rep. Pascrell was the first member of Congress to raise the case of Susana Prieto Terrazas to then-U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the 2020 U.S. trade agenda. Pascrell also highlighted the need for strong enforcement mechanisms to ensure Mexico honors agreed-upon labor reforms, echoing the many calls Pascrell has made in the past. Rep. Pascrell opposed NAFTA 2.0 due to its lack of enforcement mechanisms, stating that “the big questions on Mexican labor laws, enforcement mechanisms, American wages, and scope of environmental standards, among others, remain unanswered.” He has also led House efforts to end the outsourcing of American jobs with his Bring Jobs Home Act, which would close tax loopholes for companies who ship jobs overseas and provide tax relief for American companies that move jobs to the U.S. from another nation.