Freedom of Association
MSN supports Mexican workers’ efforts to organize authentic democratic unions, and engages with international apparel brands on the policies they should adopt and steps they should take to ensure greater respect for freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively in their Mexican supplier factories.
As in many other countries, workers’ rights to freedom of association and to bargain collectively are routinely violated in Mexico. In addition, there are major institutional barriers to freedom of association in Mexico that prevent workers from forming or joining a union of their free choice, including the signing of “employer protection contracts” by unrepresentative unions or individual lawyers without workers’ knowledge or consent, the lack of transparency of union registrations and collective bargaining agreements, and the lack of impartiality of Conciliation and Arbitration Boards that grant union registrations.
The Mexico Committee:
The Mexico Committee of the Americas Group [see Corporate Accountability] is a multi-stakeholder forum made up of several international apparel brands that source products from Mexico, the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the Maquila Solidarity Network, and the Global Union IndustriALL. Participating brands include: adidas Group, American Eagle Outfitters, Disney, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, PUMA, and PVH Corporation. In recent years, the focus of the Mexico Committee’s work has been on raising awareness about and seeking ways to overcome institutional barriers to freedom of association in Mexico.
- Guidance Tool for Brands on Freedom of Association (2016)
- Comparison of Mexico’s Federal Labour Law, International Labour Organization (ILO) standards, and FLA Code and Benchmarks (2015)