Negotiating and implementing international trade-related labour agreements
On this page
- Labour Cooperation Agreements
- Labour chapters of free trade agreements
- Guidelines for filing public communications
- Canada-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labour Mechanism
- Online form to report labour issues related to the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)
Canada aims to address the labour dimensions of economic integration and to promote respect for fundamental labour principles and rights through the development and implementation of:
- trade-related Labour Cooperation Agreements (LCAs), and
- Labour Chapters of Free Trade Agreements (LCFTAs)
These agreements and chapters seek to improve working conditions and living standards in the signatory countries, and to protect and enhance basic workers' rights. Under these Agreements, participating countries commit to:
- effectively enforce their own labour legislation
- cooperate on labour matters, and
- promote certain key labour principles
Labour Cooperation Agreements
- Canada-Chile Agreement on Labour Cooperation (July, 1997)
- Canada-Costa Rica Agreement on Labour Cooperation (November 2002)
- Canada-Peru Agreement on Labour Cooperation (August 2009)
- Canada-Colombia Agreement on Labour Cooperation (August 2011)
- Canada-Jordan Agreement on Labour Cooperation (October 2012)
- Canada-Panama Agreement on Labour Cooperation (April 2013)
- Canada-Honduras Agreement on Labour Cooperation (October 2014)
Labour chapters of free trade agreements
- Canada-Korea free trade agreement – Labour chapter
- Canada-European Union: Comprehensive economic and trade agreement – Labour chapter
- Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement – Labour chapter
- Comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – Labour chapter
- Canada-Israel free trade agreement – Labour chapter
- Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement – Labour chapter
- Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement – Labour chapter
In addition to implementing these existing agreements and chapters, the Labour Program works closely with Global Affairs Canada on other ongoing free trade agreement negotiations.
Guidelines for filing public communications
Each of Canada's LCAs and LCFTAs allow for complaints - technically known as "public communications" – to be submitted to signatory countries.
These guidelines describe the procedures and criteria required by the Canadian National Administrative Office for the submission, acceptance and review of public communications on labour law matters pertaining to the LCAs or the LCFTAs.
These guidelines apply to all past, present and future LCAs and LCFTAs but do not apply to any MOUs.
Canada-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labour Mechanism
Guidelines for Denial of Rights claims
These guidelines describe the procedures and criteria required by the Canadian National Administrative Office. These guidelines apply to the submission, acceptance and review of claims with respect to an alleged Denial of Rights under the Canada-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labour Mechanism. The latter is set out in Annex 31-B of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.
Learn more about CUSMA.
Fraenkische Industrial Pipes
On March 11, 2023, a claim was submitted by Unifor along with the Sindicato Independiente Nacional De Trabajadores Y Trabajadoras De La Industria Automotriz (SINTTIA) against the company Fraenkische Industrial Pipes México S.A., at its facility in Silao, Guanajuato. The claim alleges that workers at the facility are being denied the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
On March 13, 2023, the Canadian National Administrative Office (NAO) notified the submitters that the claim was accepted for review.
During the review process, NAO officials undertook on-site visits, interviews, and engaged in discussions with all parties concerned in the complaint. However, given the company’s willingness to address the demands put forward in the complaint by the submitters, the NAO facilitated a dialogue between the concerned parties in order to reach an agreement.
Discussions with the parties were effective and led to concrete and positive outcomes, that is:
- the company issued a public statement in which it committed to respect the effective exercise of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights of Fraenkische workers
- the company reinstated three workers who supported SINTTIA with back pay as part of the submitters’ proposal for remediation
- the union election vote by Fraenkische workers that took place on June 26, 2023 was conducted in a fair manner and its result was confirmed by the federal labour judge on July 11, 2023. SINTTIA won the vote and is now the majority representative union for Fraenkische workers.
In light of these developments, the NAO considers that the allegations were addressed and has closed the case against Fraenkische.
Online form to report labour issues related to the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)
To provide confidential information about labour issues in CUSMA partner countries, please complete this online form.
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