According to Reuters, more than 6,500 workers from the GM Silao plant will vote on the contract this week. The vote represents an opportunity for workers at the plant to unseat the Miguel Trujillo Lopez union that administers the contract, which is part of a broader union group called the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).
Workers at the Mexican plant voted on a new contract in April, however Mexican authorities later discovered serious irregularities in the voting process, including discarded ballots. The United States then lodged an official complaint via the “rapid response mechanism,” included in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), allowing it to step in and oversee a future vote alongside Mexican labor officials.
A previous report from Reuters indicated the Miguel Trujillo Lopez union was on track to lose before the April vote was called off. Workers at the plant have expressed their displeasure with the union in recent months, which they believe puts the interests of General Motors above employees. A previous report indicated the union had not provided employees with adequate safety equipment and failed to enact proper COVID-19 safety protocols. Wages at the plant are also an issue, with many employees making less than $25 USD a day.
In a statement sent to Reuters, GM said it is working with officials in the U.S. and Mexico to ensure a fair and neutral vote “in support of the shared goal to protect workers’ rights.”
GM could have the Silao plant’s tariff-free status revoked if it does not comply with USMCA regulations. This would see a 25 percent import tariff applied to all trucks shipped into the United States from the Silao facility, which is located about four hours northwest of Mexico City.
The contract vote will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ballots will be stored and counted Wednesday night once the vote has concluded, with officials from the United Nations’ International Labour Organization and Mexico’s National Electoral Institute set to oversee the ballot counting process.