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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

Cross-Border Solidarity in a Pivotal Labor Struggle

The México Solidarity Project, Labor Notes, and DSA labor activists are all currently pressuring VU Manufacturing, an automotive parts maker based near Detroit, to bargain in good faith with the newly elected independent union at its Mexican plant in Piedra Negras. Workers at that plant have just filed, as this excerpted news release below notes, a second complaint against the company under the labor provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. This USMCA pact replaced NAFTA in 2020. 


Piedras Negras, México — On Thursday, December 29, 2022, members of the Mexican Workers’ League (LSOM) — a democratic Mexican labor union — and the Border Workers’ Committee, a nonprofit worker center, submitted a labor rights petition to U.S. trade authorities against VU Manufacturing for the company’s unlawful attempts to stonewall contract negotiations, intimidate union supporters, and promote a company-friendly minority union within the plant.

Julia Quiñones directs the labor

rights group supporting workers

at the Piedra Negras plant, the

Comité Fronterizo de Obrer@s.

The petition marks the second instance in which VU management’s actions have been subject to review under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, potentially making the business the first subject to the RRLM as a repeat offender.


Over the summer, VU management attempted to impose a company-friendly union, the Confederation of Mexican Workers, on the plant after its employees began affiliating with the democratic LSOM union. By June, the company has engaged in a series of anti-LSOM retaliations, prompting members to petition US labor officials, who took up the complaint as the fifth case of its kind under the USMCA. LSOM went on to win a free and fair union election in August by a comfortable margin, leading trade authorities to close the case. 

But after the case’s closure, VU management quickly resumed many of the same unlawful practices as before. The company has actively refused to bargain in good faith with the union over a contract, ejected union organizers from the plant, and continued to discriminate in favor of the minority company union. VU has actively facilitated the minority unions efforts to defame, intimidate, and threaten one of LSOMs lead organizers. Many of the alleged violations constitute repetitions of the same actions that formed the basis of the original USMCA complaint. 

“We are fighting for a just collective bargaining agreement to achieve better working conditions and the improved wellbeing of our families,” LSOM’s VU negotiating committee notes. “The vast majority of us workers are single mothers who are trying to get ahead and support their children. We simply desire just wages for the work we perform.”


“We want more stability and a fixed set of benefits, which ought not to depend on the criteria or mood of a given supervisor,” the negotiating committee added. “Having a collective bargaining agreement will benefit the business as much as it will the workers.”