Workers at the GM Silao plant held a contract vote in April, however the vote was stopped halfway through after officials discovered destroyed ballots and other signs of irregularities in the ballot casting process. The United States then asked Mexico to review the vote over potential United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement violations.
Mexican officials have since ordered the union to hold another vote before August 20th, or face losing the contract. According to Reuters, Mexico has also sent a letter to the United States to begin the formal USMCA complaint process, which reiterated the August 20th vote requirement. The letter also says that through the remediation process, workers must be able to vote freely and without intimidation, Reuters reports.
Workers at the plant have sought to unseat the union, which is part of a broader Mexican labor union called the Confederation of Mexican Workers, or CTM. GM Silao plant workers say they have not been provided with adequate safety equipment to their jobs and that the plant has a lack of COVID-19 safety protocols. Wages at the plant, where employees make less than $25 USD a day, are also a concern.
In a statement, GM said it “respects and supports the rights of our employees to make a personal, free, secret and direct response in regards to its union representation.” The automaker also said it plans to co-operate with both the U.S. and Mexican governments to ensure a transparent and fair voting process.
The second vote will be held before August 20th, 2021, as per the USMCA requirements.