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US files labor complaint against factory in Mexico under TMEC rules

WASHINGTON, Jun 9 (.) – The United States on Wednesday asked Mexico to review whether workers at an auto parts factory were denied labor rights, in the second complaint in less than a month about working conditions filed by the US government Joe Biden under the revamped North American trade deal.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) office said the request involves the Tridonex auto parts factory, located in the northern border city of Matamoros.

The complaint arose after the AFL-CIO union federation asked the agency to review the case on allegations that the factory denied workers collective bargaining and free association rights.

The claim was filed under the “Rapid Response Labor Mechanism” of the Agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (TMEC), which allows the review of specific labor problems of the factory and could result, in an extreme case, in restrictions to importation of plant products.

“The mechanism was created to quickly address labor disputes, and this announcement demonstrates our commitment to use the tools of the agreement to defend workers at home and abroad,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in a release.

In May, Tai filed a TMEC labor complaint against a General Motors Co pickup truck plant in the central city of Silao for handling an April vote on a union contract that was ultimately overturned.

The labor enforcement mechanism was included in the TMEC to combat the denial of labor rights that critics of the previous trade agreement, NAFTA, blame for keeping Mexican wages low and tempting US companies to move their production south of their country. border.

Cardone Industries Inc, the parent company of Philadelphia-based Tridonex, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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