Labor, Trade Officials Seek Review of Union Organizing at Guacamole Plant

A panel has requested a review of the proceedings by the Mexican government.

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WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement today requested the government of Mexico review an allegation that workers’ rights are being denied at the RV Fresh guacamole manufacturing facility in Michoacán, Mexico. The Secretary of Labor and U.S. Trade Representative co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee.

The request for review follows a Jan. 17, 2024, petition filed by the MP Union and its union confederation, the ConfederaciĂłn Central Nacional.

Filed under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, the petition alleges violations of workers’ rights to freely associate and collectively bargain, following a collective bargaining agreement legitimation vote on June 23, 2023, which confirmed the MP Union as the representative union at RV Fresh. According to the petition, RV Fresh has since refused the MP Union and its leadership access to the facilities, interfered with the selection of union delegates and used intimidation tactics to undermine the union’s organizing activities. 

After the committee found sufficient and credible evidence supporting the company’s denial of workers’ rights, the U.S. government invoked the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, or RRM, by submitting a request to review to Mexico. 

“Any action that undermines workers’ rights to organize and negotiate collectively is contrary to the core objectives embedded in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and Mexico’s labor laws,” said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Thea Lee. “Through our partnership with the Mexican government, we are committed to a thorough investigation and just resolution of this matter.”

“Today’s action reiterates our unwavering commitment to employing the RRM across economic sectors to uphold the principles of union democracy, which is the foundation for workers to harness the power of freedom of association and collective bargaining to drive change in their workplaces,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We look forward to working closely with the government of Mexico to resolve the issues present in this matter.”

Mexico’s government has 10 days to decide whether to conduct a review and 45 days to investigate the claims and present its findings. 

In operation since 2021, the RV Fresh facility employs approximately 364 unionized workers who manufacture guacamole and salsa and cold pack these products for export to the United States, Canada and Europe under the label GuacON!

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