A new report by three Mexican labour rights experts, Inés González Nicolás, Gabino Jiménez Velasco and Andrea García, analyzes 68 collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in Mexico’s garment industry from a gender perspective.
MSN Briefing Paper prepared for the Mexico Committee of the Americas Group
Common Wage Violations in Mexico’s Garment Industry provides guidance to international brands and manufacturers sourcing and producing apparel products in Mexico on wage violations that are widespread in the sector and how to effectively address them.
Workers at CFO's garment manufacturing co-operative Maquiladora Justicia y Dignidad (Photo: CFO)
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Mexico hard. As of mid-November, the country has almost one million confirmed positive cases and over 95,000 official deaths. Since the pandemic started, maquila factories in the northern states experienced waves of infections among workers, with little protection provided by factory owners and management.
In September, the Clean Clothes Campaign published the report Out of the Shadows: A spotlight on exploitation in the fashion industry, which brings together data from the Fashion Checker tool tracking which brands have committed to pay a living wage and have followed through on that commitment.
On June 1, the Clean Clothes Campaign, in which MSN is an active member, launched a campaign calling on global garment and footwear brands to guarantee workers in their supply chains are paid their full salaries during the COVID crisis. The wage payment demand is central to the global network's broader call that brands, retailers, governments and other stakeholders work together to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers and, moving forward, to ensure that workers receive living wages and a social safety net.
Millions of garment workers around the world have not received their regular wages, or have not been paid at all since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, reveals a new report launched today by Clean Clothes Campaign.
The report, "Un(der)paid in the pandemic,” analyzes nonpayment and underpayment of wages to garment workers during the months of March, April and May resulting from order cancellations by apparel brands, unpaid leave imposed on workers by employers, and state-sanctioned wage cuts during the Covid-19 crisis.
With the passage of long-awaited reforms to Mexico’s Federal Labour Law on April 29, 2019, the country has entered a new era of labour relations. MSN's Catching Up series examines key issues and developments in the labour reform process, and their impacts on the right of workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
MSN has been working with our allies in Mexico to monitor developments related to the Mexican government’s February 2017 Constitutional Reform to the labour justice system and to encourage discussion and debate about the reforms and their implementation, as well as the implications they have for workers and employers.
Photo: Alfonso Caraveo, Archivo fotográfico del Colegio de la Frontera Norte.
In this briefing paper, MSN examines the strengths and limitations of the labour provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), known as CUSMA in Canada, which went into effect on July 1, 2020, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
A new document, written by Cirila Quintero Ramírez, MSN ally working out of the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Matamoros, analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on maquila workers in the north of Mexico. The document is part of a broader political analysis piece entitled, “COVID-19 and the northeastern border: early impacts on migration, public policy and populations.”
Image: Kalpona Akter, Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity
On April 22, the International Organization of Employers (IOE), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Global Unions announced a joint call to action by garment industry employer and worker organizations, major garment brands and retailers aimed at mitigating the catastrophic impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the heath and livelihoods of workers in the global garment industry. COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry sets out urgent priorities and includes some general commitments from brands and retailers.
MSN is joining with other organizations in the world-wide Clean Clothes Campaign network in calling for action from brands, retailers, governments and other stakeholders to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those most exploited in global supply chains and to build towards a future in which workers have access to living wages and a social safety net.
Today, a coalition of Global Unions and human and labour rights organizations, including MSN, launched a new 15-page report describing how dozens of brands and retailers are publicly disclosing the names and addresses and other information on their supplier factories.
On April 29, 2019 the Mexican congress approved a comprehensive labour justice reform that directly impacts workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. In this resource MSN provides a timeline for the implementation of the reform highlighting important landmarks throughout the 2019-2023 period.
MSN has launched a new research tool entitled Companies and Brands: Leverage points with international apparel companies. This comprehensive tool is designed to assist worker rights advocates in accessing detailed information about a company whose products are sourced from factories where labour rights violations have occurred. The research tool includes a seven-page chart that outlines six key leverage points about global garment companies and the brands that they own:
On May 1, 2019, Mexico published its long-awaited reformed Federal Labour Law, which the Morena government promises will guarantee the right of workers to be represented by a union of their free choice and to have an active role in collective bargaining.
The lack of freedom of association in Mexico has been a major obstacle in negotiations for a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (now known as USMCA or T-MEC).
On May 31, 2018, the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly ratified the Special Law for the Regulation and Installation of Nurseries for Workers’ Children. During an August 2018 roundtable, management representatives from Salvadoran maquila factories requested more detailed analysis on the implications of the new law for employers. In response, the Coalition for Decent Work for Women (CEDM) and the Americas Group (AG) contracted Ena Nuñez, an independent legal consultant and expert on labour issues, to prepare this document.
On July 1, 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known by his initials AMLO) and his party, National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), won an overwhelming electoral victory that creates a new political context for the implementation of the 2017 Constitutional Reform to Mexico’s labour justice system.
Over 90 participants came together on May 23, 2018 in San Salvador, El Salvador, for a bi-national forum on the advantages and disadvantages for maquila workers of workplace, community, and home-based childcare options in Central America and internationally. Representatives came from 38 supplier factories in Honduras and El Salvador; 27 union, women’s and other non-governmental organizations, 13 international brands and manufacturers; and two industry associations.
In May, 2018, the Coalition for Decent Work for Women (CEDM), which includes Salvadoran women’s and trade union organizations, and MSN published Seeking Solutions to Childcare Needs of Maquila Workers in El Salvador.