MEXICO CITY — The Government of Mexico has agreed to look into a complaint earlier this year by a Mexican labor union that Goodyear's Mexican subsidiary has been obstructing workers' "freedom of association and right to collective bargaining."
According to a statement issued June 1 by the Mexican Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare has a period of 35 days to investigate and issue a determination.
The ministry is responding to a request by a joint U.S./Mexico/Canada labor committee, which asked the Mexican government May 22 to investigate alleged breaches of labor rights at Goodyear's tire factory in San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico.
That request was made under the auspices of the Labor Mechanism for Rapid Response in Specific Facilities of Annex 31-A of the Treaty between the U.S., Mexico and Canada (USMCA).
This request, the Mexican ministry said, identifies alleged violations of collective rights due to Goodyear's refusal to apply the most beneficial terms of the existing contract law in the rubber industry; the alleged misinformation on the part of the company and the union that previously held the collective bargaining agreement.
The issue stems from an election at the plant in April regarding union representation, when a ballot box allegedly was stolen, putting the legitimacy of the election into question. The ministry said the "legitimization procedure" was restored on May 8, resulting in the termination of the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CCT) as the Goodyear workers' union.
Asked for comment, Goodyear noted that attrition at the San Luis Potosi is less than 1%, and that it is working closely with Mexican and U.S. authorities to protect its employees' right to select their own representation, freely and fairly and will cooperate with any review under the USMCA.
This is the second time in four years that Goodyear has been accused of poor labor relations at the Mexican plant. In 2019, four members of the U.S. House of Representatives were refused entry to the plant during a fact-finding trip on labor conditions in Mexico, including allegations from former workers there about poor working conditions, low wages, illegal termination and discrimination.
Goodyear opened the San Lui Potosi plant in 2017. It employs 1,100 and has the capacity to manufacture 6 million passenger tires per year.