US labor attachés, a channel for complaints on conditions in Mexico / Economí

The five labor attachés to be placed in the United States Embassies for monitoring the implementation of the labor reform in Mexico as part of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA), will generate information which could lead to penalizations from the United States, experts stated during the International Conference: “One Year after the Labor Reform”

The attachés will be responsible for gathering information on the conditions of collective association and union freedom in the country and sending this information to a Labor Committee comprised by several US agencies; this could eventually become a channel for Mexican unions to complain about poor working conditions and, ultimately, to penalizations, as said to EconomíaHoy by Eduardo Arrocha, consultant for D&M Abogados.

“(Complaints) will be made”, said Arrocha, but in case of an alleged union violation, the Mexican authorities will be the ones to deal with it and, in the event of not solving the problem, a panel of three judges will be formed and they will verify, at the work center, whether the claim persists.

Arrocha recalled that the panels will not be the ones to impose penalizations, but rather the claiming countries, in the event that a labor violation has not been fixed after the evaluation process.

Unlike panel members, labor attachés may not conduct onsite inspections, but will be limited to gathering information. Thus, their task will be limited to monitoring and gathering information.
“I don’t see an attempt to invade Mexico with men in suits (labor attachés) conducting on- site verifications”, said John Sander, partner at the American Firm Jackson Lewis, in an ironic tone, in regard to the implications of the work of the five labor attachés.

Although they will be open to receiving information from the unions, Sander doubted that a tidal wave of complaints on labor problems will reach the United States Consulates.

Note published in Economí, Economía [Economy] section, by Juan Luis García