Workers Reject a Pro-employer Protection Union Contract
The UAW congratulates workers at the GM Silao plant who withstood threats and intimidation to reject a pro-employer union contract 3,214 to 2,623.
The vote occurred after the Biden Administration sought to rerun the previous vote under new provisions of the USMCA agreement to give union workers a free, fair voice in their contracts. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh deserve great credit on behalf of the Biden Administration for utilizing the Rapid Response Mechanism of USMCA in this instance.
The previous vote was nullified after it was discovered that the pro-employer Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) destroyed ballots in the original vote.
While today’s results are an enormous victory for the workers in Silao, it is only the start. Workers still need to organize an independent union and fight for their first contract. By building an independent union movement in Mexico, workers on both sides of our border win by leveling the economic tensions created through low wage pro-employer contracts.
The GM Silao vote proves that when given the opportunity to vote in an environment free from intimidation and deceit workers will reject pro-employer collective bargaining agreements and pro-employer protection unions, and instead chose to have a voice on the job and fight for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The Mexican government must ensure that all collective bargaining agreement votes in the future are afforded these same protections.
The important message sent today is that the Biden Administration and USMCA will ensure that labor provisions in trade agreements can provide worker protections, and are an important piece of a worker-centric trade policy. For UAW members this will lead to a fairer playing field by lifting wages and benefits in countries like Mexico.
The UAW will continue to closely monitor the situation.
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