United States Announces Successful Resolution of Rapid Response Mechanism Labor Matter at Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico

January 22, 2024

WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced the successful resolution of the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) matter at the Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico facility in El Marqués in the state of Querétaro, Mexico, where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.  After the United States requested Mexico’s review of the matter, Mexico and the company took several actions to address violations of labor law, including reinstating dismissed workers and correcting other employer interference in union activities.
“Mexican law protects workers’ fundamental right to unionize without retaliation or interference from their employer.  Today’s announcement shows the important role the RRM plays in ensuring workers can exercise these rights,” Ambassador Katherine Tai said. “I commend the Government of Mexico and Autoliv for the swift resolution to the denials of rights found at the facility.”

“All workers have the right to form or join a union of their choice and to negotiate with their employers to improve their wages and working conditions,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee.  “As a result of collaboration and conversations between the government of Mexico, the company and the petitioners, Autoliv workers have a deeper understanding of their rights and have been able to select their representative for negotiations at the plant freely.”
Actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to address the matter include:

  • Autoliv reinstating and providing full backpay and benefits to three workers it had unjustly dismissed, and paying full severance to seven more workers who were unjustly dismissed, but chose not to return to the facility;
  • Autoliv posting and disseminating a neutrality statement and related guidelines at the facility, affirming its commitment to safeguarding the right to freedom of association;
  • The Government of Mexico delivering trainings on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the facility for workers and  company representatives.

The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC).  On October 19, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Transformación, Construcción, Automotriz, Agropecuaria, Plásticos y de la Industria en General, del Comercio y Servicios Similares, Anexos y Conexos del Estado de Querétaro, “Ángel Castillo Reséndiz” (“Transformación Sindical”), a Mexican union.  The petition alleged that Autoliv dismissed workers in retaliation for undertaking union organizing activity, interfered in union affairs, and denied Transformación Sindical access to the facility.  The ILC reviews RRM petitions that it receives, and the accompanying information, within 30 days.  The ILC determined, in response to the petition, 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 to review the matter.  The Government of Mexico accepted the request and finalized its report on January 4, 2024.  Mexico’s report found there had been denials of rights at the facility and outlined the steps taken by the company and government to successfully remediate those denials. 
As a result of the above actions taken by the facility and the Government of Mexico to resolve the issue, the United States agrees that there is no ongoing denial of rights.  Ambassador Tai’s letter directing the Secretary of the Treasury to resume liquidation of entries of goods from the Autoliv facility is available here.

A copy of the request for review can be found here.
Information about previous requests can be found here.