CITY, May 26, 2023 /CNW/ - Today, Minister of
Labour Seamus O'Regan Jr. wrapped-up
a three-day visit in Mexico City
where he engaged with Mexican officials, unions and stakeholders on
labour reforms being implemented under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
He also examined first-hand how Government of Canada investments are improving workers'
rights and labour conditions in Mexico.
During his visit, the Minister met with Mexico's Secretary of Labour and Social
Welfare, Luisa María Alcalde, to discuss the role of the Federal
Centre for Conciliation and Labour Registration (Centro Federal de
Conciliación y Registro Laboral) and labour courts within
Mexico's new labour justice
system. The creation of labour courts under the jurisdiction of the
judiciary is a key element of Mexico's labour reforms and a commitment under
Minister O'Regan also participated in a roundtable discussion
with World Vision on forced labour and child labour. The discussion
focused on how $2.4 million in
funding from the Government of Canada is strengthening the capacities of
Mexican labour authorities, agricultural producers and farm workers
(particularly migrant and Indigenous women and youth) to address
forced labour and child labour in the tomato, cucumber and eggplant
sectors in the states of Sinaloa
Additionally, the Minister met with union members supporting two
projects led by Canadian labour organizations that received
$9.4 million from the Government of
Canada in 2021. Through these
projects, these Canadian labour organizations are sharing their
expertise and participating actively in Mexico's labour reform.
The first project, implemented by Unifor, supports local action
centres in six Mexican states. These centres deliver
gender-responsive training, rights awareness and advocacy services
to workers and trade unions throughout Mexico improving working conditions in
export-dependent industries. The Minister visited one of the action
centres where he spoke with local labour membership to hear more
about the work being done at the centres to support workers'
The second project is being implemented by the Steelworkers
Humanity Fund on behalf of the Canadian Labour Congress, the Public
Service Alliance of Canada, the
Canadian Union of Public Employees, United Steelworkers and the
Centre international de solidarité ouvrière. The project provides
education programs to unionized and non-unionized workers on
defending labour rights. As a result, workers are being equipped to
navigate Mexico's new labour
justice system, including the conciliation and registration boards
and labour courts.
"The Labour movement has made Canada a standard bearer in workers' rights.
That credibility gives us an opportunity to empower workers and
create good jobs around the world. We're seizing that
– Minister of Labour, Seamus O'Regan
"Labour reforms in Mexico,
supported through ground-breaking provisions in the CUSMA, are an
important tool to improve workers' rights in key sectors of the
economy. When workers in Mexico
prosper, workers across the continent prosper. We will keep
monitoring the progress of these reforms and working with our
partners in the independent Mexican labour movement to support
workers and their communities across the country."
– Lana Payne, National President,
"Forced labour and child labour have no place in Canada or elsewhere. World Vision is committed
to working with all stakeholders—including governments, the private
sector and affected workers—in Mexico and around the world to build
sustainable supply chains free of exploitation and harm."
– Michael Messenger, President
and CEO, World Vision Canada
- In 2019, Mexico initiated a
key reform by establishing a new model of labour justice based on
three key principles: independent and impartial labour justice,
democratic trade unions, and authentic collective bargaining.
- In May 2019, the Mexican Congress
approved a labour reform and amended the Federal Labour Law
strengthening the exercise of freedom of association and collective
- The Canada-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labour
Mechanism allows countries to request an inspection of a specific
facility based on a good faith belief that obligations related to
freedom of association and collective bargaining in covered
facilities are not being respected.
CUSMA - Labour chapter summary
Government of Canada promotes
labour rights and better working conditions in Mexico
Follow us on Twitter
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada