Silao, Mexico- General Motors Employee Mari said that in the past ten years, she felt unable to ask the factory in central Mexico to raise wages, which has created hundreds of thousands of profits. Pickup trucks Per year.

But on Tuesday and Wednesday, nearly 6,500 unionized workers in the factory are voting for Mari and many colleagues think this is a historic opportunity to overthrow the union, which they say is to protect the interests of the company rather than their own.

If workers reject the Miguel Trujillo Lopez union, this will open the door for them to bring new representatives.

This vote marked the first major test of labor rules under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement and aimed to foster stronger unions and raise wages in Mexico, partly to reduce Incentives from American companies move jobs south of the border.

General Motors The factory in Silao, Guanajuato is the key to its North American region truck strategy. It produced more than 339,000 Chevrolet Silverado and General Motors Corporation Sierra’s full-size pickup trucks in 2019 accounted for more than one-third of the company’s total sales of 906,000 vehicles.

After a preliminary vote at the Silao factory in April was disrupted by issues, including damaged ballots, the United States Lodge a complaint https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/us-asks-mexico-review-gm-plant-labor-allegations-test-new-trade-deal-2022-05-12 Reaction mechanism.”

Mexico agreed to repeat the vote in the presence of independent observers and other safeguards.

“Now, with the new treaty, I think we can improve our working conditions,” said Mari, 32, who asked not to reveal her full name because of fear of retaliation.

She takes home about 2,300 pesos (US$115.63) a week to support her parents and daughter, and sometimes does part-time jobs to make ends meet.

The Miguel Trujillo Lopez union, which manages GM’s Silao contract, said it is committed to improving workers’ rights and ensuring fair voting.

“We must focus on transparency, certainty and safety so that our workers can vote freely,” said Tereso Medina, the head of the union, which is one of the largest labor organizations in Mexico. Part of the meeting (CTM).

General Motors said it would remain neutral and respect the voting results.

“We are working with the United States and Mexico to support the common goal of protecting workers’ rights,” the company told Reuters.

If GM does not comply with USMCA’s labor enforcement tools, pickup trucks manufactured by its Silao may face a 25% tariff.

Esteban Martinez, an official with the Ministry of Labor who oversees the implementation of comprehensive labor reforms in Mexico, said that since April, GM has been more active in ensuring fair voting, which is one of the reasons for eliminating business-friendly unions and companies. Part of the national effort for a lover contract between. .

In addition to distributing copies of union contracts and 7,000 educational leaflets prepared by the Department of Labor, General Motors has also established a timetable for all employees to vote during working hours, allowing observers to enter the factory, and aims to ensure that managers do not try to influence workers , Martinez said.

“They are putting their executives under a magnifying glass to ensure that non-union managers are not involved in this process,” Martinez said.

Attitude change

Martinez said that other companies are taking inspiration from General Motors to increase their efforts to ensure fair voting without interference from unions or companies, and pointed out that “attitudes have changed.”

Democratic and union advocate, US Congressman Bill Pascrell, said GM’s response was encouraging. He also warned other companies that if they do not improve their practices, they may also face scrutiny.

“This case is a barometer of how the industry respects labor rights,” he said.

The Miguel Trujillo Lopez Union was accused by some workers, activists, and experts for deliberately interfering with the April vote after realizing it was going to fail. https://www.reuters.com/world/americas /mexico-union-was-losing-scrap-GM-worker-vote-report-2022-05-13.

The union denies intervening, and the Labor Department has not determined who is responsible for its so-called “serious violations.”

This time, under the supervision of observers from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) and Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE), the union will store and count votes after the voting on Wednesday night.

As part of a remedial plan agreed by Mexico and the United States, the two groups and federal labor officials have been sent to factories to interview workers and collect complaints in recent weeks.

Several workers stated that their presence helps limit pressure on union representatives to vote to retain contracts, although some people still doubt whether unions can be trusted to organize voting with vested interests.

Workers from both camps conducted grassroots campaigns to promote “yes” or “no” voting, including phone calls, social media posts, and weekend workers driving through the residential area bordering Silao, and the loudspeaker issued a “vote “no” Voice to the CTM contract, so we can defend our dignity as workers.”

Two other colleagues in social conversations with Reuters pointed out that some colleagues were hesitant, not sure what they would get if they voted “no” without another union preparing to negotiate a new agreement.

But Juan is the father of three children and has worked for 11 years. He said his decision to vote against the union was clear.

“Only the products we produce here are not enough,” he said.

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