The US and Mexico have 14 potential labor lawsuits in the USMCA

Note published in El Financiero in the Economía [Economy] section by Héctor Usla.
Read the note in its original source

Óscar de la Vega, founding partner of De la Vega & Martínez Rojas, believes that with the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House there will be an intense supervision to ensure that Mexico complies with its commitments in labor matters.

The arrival of Joe Biden to the White House will imply an intense supervision to ensure that the country complies with the labor commitments established in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); nevertheless, according to experts, there are at least 14 potential labor lawsuits in process.

Óscar de la Vega, founding partner of De la Vega & Martínez Rojas, informed that both the Mexican and the United States governments are currently seeking to conciliate these cases.

He added that during the first quarter of 2021 an exhaustive use of the rapid response mechanism of the USMCA is expected, “we will see very active arbitration panels, Biden will try to make everything that was negotiated in the USMCA effective.”

Once Biden takes possession, the Democratic wing will increase the intensity of monitoring, “especially since American unions, such as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) are the most interested parties in having Chapter 21 Annex A of the USMCA complied with, and we must pay attention to them, they are strong unions with a large budget”, he explained.

According to the labor lawyer, US law will focus its efforts on the sectors with the most exports, since they are the industries that generate the greatest exchanges of currencies between Mexico and the US, where the automotive, auto parts, mining, cement, aluminum sectors, industrial bakeries, call centers, electronics industries, among others, stand out.

“Companies within these sectors are the ones which must take labor matters most seriously, establish measures right now; it is no longer valid to have “chocolate” [protection] unions, now, under the USMCA, either you have a representative and independent union, or it is better to migrate to other schemes”, he explained.

For his part, Juan Francisco Torres Landa, partner of the Hogan Lovells legal Firm, stated that in the event that the US labor attachés notice that their southern neighbor is not complying with its labor obligations, “there will be possible penalizations against companies that are infringing the regulations”, he said.