United States Announces Successful Resolution of Rapid Response Labor Mechanism Matter at Draxton Facility

April 09, 2024

WASHINGTON – The United States today announced the successful resolution of the second self-initiated request under the USMCA facility-specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM), regarding the Draxton facility in Irapuato, Guanajuato, where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.  In July 2023, the United States and Mexico agreed on a course of remediation to address labor violations occurring at the facility, including the retaliatory termination of a union official, workers not receiving their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before they voted on it, and employer interference in union activities.  That course of remediation has now been implemented, and the denial of rights concerns raised in our request for review have been remediated.  As a result, USTR has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to resume liquidation of unliquidated entries of goods from the facility.
“Today’s announcement recognizes the reinstatement of the unjustly terminated worker and the progress made toward ensuring there are no reprisals against workers for their engagement in union activity,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.  “We commend the Government of Mexico and Draxton for their efforts to address the denials of rights that occurred.  We consider the remediation actions taken and the facility’s compliance with Mexican labor law a way forward for workers to affiliate with the union of their choice without any form of interference or retribution.”
“The actions taken by the Government of Mexico and the company under the agreed-upon remediation course established a solid foundation to ensure union autonomy at the Draxton facility,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “With these protections in place, we look forward to an environment of collaborative labor relations, resulting in mutual benefits for workers and the company.”
Actions taken by the facility to address the matter include:

  • Reinstating the worker terminated due to union activities and committing to ensuring that there will be no discrimination, harassment, intimidation, coercion, threats, reprisals or violence against the worker moving forward;
  • Providing the terminated worker full back pay and benefits, from the date of termination until the date of reinstatement;
  • Adopting and posting a neutrality statement and company guidelines on freedom of association and collective bargaining, including a zero-tolerance policy for violations, and training all company personnel on the guidelines and neutrality commitments;
  • Distributing a printed copy of the current CBA to all company personnel, with new workers receiving it on their first day of work;
  • ​​​​​Maintaining a website for workers to access all relevant materials related to trainings, the company’s public statement and guidelines, as well as the CBA; and
  • Establishing a complaint mechanism for workers to anonymously report any violations of their rights and breaches of company guidelines on freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Actions taken by the Government of Mexico to address the matter include:

  • Informing workers about its findings and the course of remediation, and delivering in-person trainings for company personnel on freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • Monitoring the facility and engaged with the workers and employer during the implementation of the course of remediation;
  • Ordering the union to be accountable for the administration of the union activities, as well as ordered the company and the union to guarantee the proper custody and confidentiality of the personal data of the workers;
  • Offering a phone line and/or email address for workers to anonymously report any intimidation, coercion, or threats with respect to their selection of a union or union activities, or non-neutrality, or interference in internal union affairs;
  • Visiting the facility prior to a November 2023 vote, to ensure workers were aware of the vote and had relevant documentation, including the CBA, as well as ensuring compliance with all relevant obligations under law, including prohibitions on coercion, intimidation or misinformation intended to influence the outcome of a vote; and
  • Organizing and overseeing a series of dialogue meetings, regarding union access to and conditions in the facility, between Draxton and the independent union, after it won the free and fair vote held in November to determine ownership of the CBA.


The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  The United States received information appearing to indicate several serious denials of labor rights, including the termination of a union official and interference with workers’ activities in order to control the union.  When workers at the facility tried to organize a new union, led by the terminated union official, they experienced harassment, surveillance, and intimidation, and the former union official faced threats and violence at his house.  Additionally, workers were not provided a copy of their CBA before voting on it in 2022 or during the period that followed.
After conducting a thorough investigation, on May 31, 2023, the United States Trade Representative submitted a self-initiated request to the Government of Mexico to review whether workers employed at the Draxton facility were being denied their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.  Mexico agreed, and on July 14, 2023, concluded there were ongoing denials of rights related to freedom of association and collective bargaining at the facility.  On July 28, 2023, the United States and Mexico announced a course of remediation to remediate the denials of rights.  The end date of the course of remediation was October 31, 2023.  The United States closely monitored compliance with the course of remediation.
Read the full course of remediation here.
Read an unofficial courtesy Spanish translation of the full course of remediation here.
A copy of the letter to the Secretary of the Treasury can be found here.

Information about previous requests can be found here.