The U.S. government announced the successful resolution of a U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Rapid Response Labor Mechanism matter at the Goodyear rubber tire facility in San Luis Potosí.
After the U.S. requested Mexico’s review of the matter under the Rapid Response Mechanism of the USMCA, the two governments negotiated a course of remediation in July 2023 to help workers who were receiving fewer wages and benefits than they were legally owed. Mexico and Goodyear took several actions to address denials of rights that the U.S. found during its investigation into the failure by the company to apply a sector-wide agreement.
This course of remediation has thus far delivered approximately $4 million in back pay to more than 1,300 workers, including about 150 former workers. Additional actions taken by Goodyear to provide the wages and benefits they owe to workers include applying a sector-wide agreement to reclassify job categories, which resulted in immediate wage gains for most workers at the plant. The company will also increase payments into an employee savings program and contribute to a social welfare account that workers can use to fund unexpected layoffs and absences, additional vacation days and a larger end-of-year bonus.
As part of the remediation process, the Mexican government has continued to disseminate information to the public, workers and employers on the rights of workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining, particularly at facilities that are subject to sector-wide agreements.
“The transformation of labor relations at the San Luis Potosí Goodyear facility is remarkable,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “I first learned about the case in 2019 when Representative Rosa DeLauro called attention to the challenges workers faced trying to organize at the facility. It is a testament to the power of the USMCA Rapid Response Mechanism and the dedication of the Government of Mexico, the Goodyear Corporation and the tenacious workers at Goodyear that we are seeing these historic outcomes."
In a statement released on Jan. 24, 2024, United Steelworkers Union Vice President Emil Ramirez, who leads the union’s bargaining with Goodyear in the U.S., said, “Fair contracts and a strong, democratically elected labor movement in Mexico benefit workers across North America. This deal will help close the gap between USW members and their Mexican counterparts, slowing the race to the bottom on wages and working conditions that hurts us all.”
Operated by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the San Luis Potosí facility employs approximately 1,150 union-eligible workers who produce rubber tires.