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

April 09, 2024

WASHINGTON – The United States announced today the successful resolution of a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) facility-specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) matter at the Teklas Automotive facility in Aguascalientes, where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. Since October 2023, Mexico and the company have taken a series of remediation measures to address labor violations occurring at the facility, including the retaliatory termination of union officials and employer interference in union activities. Based on these measures, the United States concluded that the denial of rights concerns raised in our request for review has been remediated. USTR has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to resume liquidation of unliquidated entries of goods from the facility.
“As we close this case, we recognize the success of the RRM in cultivating an environment where workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are respected,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.  “We commend the Government of Mexico and Teklas for their commitment over the last few months to remediate the denial of rights that occurred.  We are hopeful that these actions have laid the groundwork for better union-employer relations at the facility.”
“We commend the government of Mexico and the company for taking concrete steps to ensure that human resource personnel do not interfere with workers’ rights to choose a representative union and for reinstating workers who were fired for trying to exercise that right,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “The U.S. government will continue to monitor the situation at the facility, including the ongoing collective bargaining process.”
Actions taken by the facility to address the matter include:

  • Reinstatement of the workers terminated due to union activities and a commitment to ensuring that there will be no discrimination, harassment, intimidation, coercion, threats, reprisals or violence against the workers moving forward;
  • Compensation of the terminated workers’ full back pay and benefits, from the date of termination until the date of reinstatement;
  • Restructuring the human resources department to ensure that staff previously involved in denying workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining do not have job responsibilities that would involve them with such activities, by hiring new personnel to replace the former head of human resources and new in-house legal counsel specialized in union affairs;
  • Adopting and implementing 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;
  • 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
  • Posting information on how workers can file complaints, without fear of company reprisals, with the Government of Mexico related to violations of their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.  

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

  • Delivering in-person trainings for company personnel on freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • Monitoring the facility and engaging with the workers and employer throughout the duration of this case;
  • 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 January 2024 union vote to ensure workers were aware of the vote and had relevant documentation, including the CBA, as well as ensured 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 to settle agreements between Teklas and the independent union, on union access to the facility and the terms for both the free and fair vote held in January to determine union ownership of the CBA and an upcoming CBA revision.


The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On August 24, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from La Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana (LSOM), an independent Mexican union, and the International Lawyers Attending Workers Network (ILAW Network).  The petition alleged that Teklas threatened and dismissed workers in retaliation for undertaking union organizing activity.  The ILC reviews RRM petitions that it receives, and the accompanying information, within 30 days.  The ILC determined that there was sufficient, credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms.  
As a result, the United States Trade Representative submitted a request to Mexico that Mexico review whether workers at the Teklas Automotive facility were being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.  Mexico agreed, and on November 9, 2023, concluded there were ongoing denial of rights related to freedom of association and collective bargaining at the facility.  Since then, the company and Mexico have taken a series of steps to address the denial of rights, which the United States has reviewed and concluded to have remedied the situation.

A copy of the request for review can be found here.       

A copy of the letter to the Secretary of the Treasury can be found here.

Information about previous requests can be found here.