Mexico City, Mexico — The improvement of labor rights in Mexico is a fundamental issue needed to reach a new trade agreement in North America, otherwise the US Congress will not approve it, US democrats on the eve of new NAFTA talks.
“Labor rights in Mexico are not an issue that can be circumvented,” said representatives Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Sandy Levin of Michigan.
“It is the central issue that must be addressed in any NAFTA reform. If Mexico does not stop repressing the wages of its workers it will not only be an obstacle to a new trade agreement, it will be a death sentence for any agreement that congress approves.”
Levin and Pascrell want to prioritize the labor issues in the new round of negotiations to remodel NAFTA, which began Sunday.
It is an opinion that, although it comes from the minority party in congress, it could have the support of President Donald Trump, who says that better conditions for Mexican workers are a requirement in a revision of the agreement.
A new bill in Mexico was criticized by US unions, which believe it would encourage more jobs to escape south of the border. The democrats made reference to that bill in their statement.
The plan was presented in December last year by senators from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI where they propose to eliminate restrictions on the hiring of personnel by outsourcing, which would imply that all employees of a company can be hired under this scheme.
The statement includes a letter signed on January 23 by more than 180 members of congress to the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, which states that any new agreement of the commercial pact must include strong and binding provisions that address the working conditions of Mexico.
The letter says that the current objectives in the NAFTA re-negotiations do not address the problem “enough”.
Mexico’s new bill, which is scheduled for debate in the current legislative session, “would limit freedom of association and promote precarious work, which would probably make Mexican wages even lower and encourage the outsourcing of jobs Americans and Canadians,” remarked the president of the largest union federation of the United States AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka in a letter addressed to Lighthizer and dated December 12.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare announced that it will “reverse” the initiative introduced by PRI senators regarding the elimination of restrictions on the hiring of personnel through subcontracting or outsourcing.