Statement by the Minister of Labour


May 20, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, issued the following statement regarding the allegations of vote tampering at a General Motors facility in Guanajuato, Mexico:

“Every worker deserves a safe and healthy work environment where their rights are respected. Through comprehensive and enforceable labour provisions in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which came into force on July 1, 2020, the governments of Canada, the United States, and Mexico are working to ensure that this is the case throughout North America.

The Government of Canada is aware the United States has initiated a complaint against a General Motors (GM) facility in Guanajuato, Mexico, for an alleged violation of workers’ rights, namely the right to ratify their collective bargaining agreement through personal, free, direct and secret vote. The United States has requested that Mexico review the allegations and determine whether a denial of rights exists. The Government of Mexico has indicated that it will conduct a review.

I have recently spoken with my counterparts in Mexico and the United States to discuss our countries’ obligations under CUSMA, and the Government of Canada is closely following recent complaints under the Agreement’s facility-specific rapid-response labour mechanism as the situations evolve. Our government will continue to collaborate with international counterparts and the labour movement to ensure labour provisions are upheld.

Canada remains committed to supporting Mexico’s effective implementation of CUSMA’s labour obligations. That is why the Government of Canada has committed $27.5 million over the next four years to support Mexico’s implementation of significant labour reforms. This funding will be used to help Mexico remove barriers and practices that have prevented workers from exercising their rights to associate freely and bargain collectively in an effective manner.

Canada believes that the CUSMA labour provisions will help improve working conditions throughout North America and ensure a level playing field for Canadian workers and businesses.”

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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