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Pascrell Praises Biden Admin Again Supporting Mexican Labor Rights

United States Trade Representative and Department of Labor accept labor violations case involving Panasonic plant in Mexico

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today praised the Biden administration for its latest trade enforcement action, this time against Panasonic for labor violations against workers and its Reynosa Mexican facility.

“Our trade relationship with Mexico will never be strong unless and until workers’ rights are respected,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Sham unions, rampant intimidation, and systemic coercion poison everything else. The Biden administration’s continued aggressive action to hold labor violations accountable is a welcome tonic after years of executive inaction. I commend the President, Ambassador Tai, and Secretary Walsh for doing what’s necessary to stand tall for workers. Improving labor conditions is absolutely needed to ensure jobs here at home are not being undermined. After the strong vote for an independent union, I hope Panasonic will enter contract negotiations with the independent union, SNITIS, in good faith.”

According to the Rapid Response Mechanism petition filed by Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadores de Industrias y de Servicios Movimiento 20/32 (SNITIS) and Rethink Trade, Panasonic fired workers who supported an independent union and tried to intimidate its employees to accept substandard collective bargaining as part of a sham union. Despite this behavior by Panasonic, the Panasonic workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of an independent union, SNITIS.

Rep. Pascrell was the first Member of Congress to raise the plight Tridonex workers were facing when Susana Prieto Terrazas advocated on their behalf, which got former Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to say it was a “bad indicator”.

In June 2020, Pascrell led 59 colleagues in demanding the release of Susana Prieto Terrazas. Pascrell praised the filing of the first rapid response labor case to combat workers at Tridonex being denied union representation in May 2021. Pascrell applauded the Biden Administration for formally and swiftly accepting the case. Pascrell secured Ambassador Tai’s commitment to raising the labor case with Mexico in May 2021. Pascrell reacted to the settlement of the rapid response case in August 2021. Pascrell’s statement in advance of the recent Rapid Response Mechanism petition can be found here.

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