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US Urges Mexico to Investigate Alleged Workers’ Rights Violations at Denim Factory

Complaint is the first of its kind in the garment sector.




The US has requested that Mexico investigate alleged violations of workers’ rights at a denim garment factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico, according to a report by Reuters. The request was made by the US Trade Representative’s office and focuses on Industrias del Interior (INISA), the owner of the facility.

This is the first labor rights complaint in the garment sector.

The Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC) received a petition from a Mexican labor organization, Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), and the Sindicato de Industrias del Interior, a union representing workers at the company. The petition alleged that INISA is coercing workers to accept changes to the collective bargaining agreement and interfering in union matters. It also claimed that INISA is not negotiating in good faith with the union.

After reviewing the petition, the ILC found sufficient and credible evidence of rights violations, warranting the invocation of enforcement mechanisms, says Reuters. The US request gives Mexico 10 days to agree to conduct a review, followed by 45 days to complete the investigation.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that this action demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting workers’ rights and upholding the promises of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA). The US aims to ensure that workers in all sectors have the freedom to associate and engage in collective bargaining.

As part of the response, the US Trade Representative directed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to suspend the final settlement of customs accounts related to goods from the facility.


Since the implementation of the USMCA in 2020, the US has increased its scrutiny of Mexican facilities. Efforts, so far, have resulted in the establishment of new unions, leading to improved wages and benefits for workers.



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