The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement requested the government of Mexico review an allegation of labor rights violations at the MasAir cargo airline in Mexico City. The Department of Labor and Trade Representative co-chairs the committee.
The request follows a July 31, 2023, petition filed by the Asociación Sindical de Pilotos Aviadores de México, an airline pilots’ union. The union alleges violations of the pilots’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights by Aerotransportes MAS de Carga S.A. de C.V., a regional air cargo services provider. The request is the first use of the Rapid Response Mechanism in the services sector.
“This request for review is another example that compliance with the labor commitments under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a priority for the U.S. in all sectors the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism covers,” explained Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We expect to continue our good collaboration with the government of Mexico in addressing the fundamental issues raised in this request.”
ASPA’s petition claims intimidation, interference, and reprisals by the airline, including the dismissal of eight MasAir pilots who tried to affiliate with the union. ASPA also alleges that MasAir tried to influence the outcome of a vote to ratify a collective bargaining agreement in favor of the current union, Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Aérea y Conexos de la República. The committee’s request for review to the Mexican government comes after a U.S. government investigation found evidence of violations of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.
“Workers’ ability to affiliate with the union of their choice is a key tenet of the freedom of association and collective bargaining rights the RRLM is designed to protect,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.
“Today’s action highlights the United States is committed to safeguarding the labor rights enshrined in the USMCA across industries and sectors, including in services. We look forward to working closely with the Government of Mexico to address the issues present in this matter.
Under the USMCA, the committee can invoke the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism when sufficient and credible evidence exists to support allegations of a labor rights denial. Mexico’s government has 10 days to decide whether to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate the claims and present its findings.
Based in Mexico City, MasAir provides cargo transportation services in North and South America. The carrier employs about 340 workers including about 100 pilots.