The United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement is the first Free Trade Agreement that considers labor conditions, according to Mexican media. For helping Mexico to achieve the compromises of the USMCA, the US announced the financing of organizations with the target of fight human traffic, children labor, and other social injustices.
The United States allocated a budget of 32 million dollars to provide assistance to Mexico related to the labor obligations established in the Agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (USMCA).
How will the US help Mexico in its labor issues?
As of January 2020, the Office of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) granted that amount to help Mexico comply with labor commitments in the USMCA, improve working conditions and strengthen the State. of law.
The Department of Labor (DOL) noted that ILAB’s technical assistance has been, and will continue to be, the key to ensuring that Mexico meets its commitments under the agreement.
So far, the DOL has invested that $ 32 million in grant funds with plans to invest an additional $ 180 million over the next four years to non-government recipients to support the implementation of the USMCA.
The DOL anticipates that technical assistance projects will develop the capacity of the Mexican Ministry of Labor to implement new labor legislation, increase awareness of new labor law requirements, provide training to workers and employers to improve labor relations, and collective bargaining, and engaging with civil society organizations to promote acceptable working conditions.
Additionally, the DOL will focus on worker-centered capacity building and efforts to reduce workplace discrimination, child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.
One of the projects, called Compliance in auto parts through the application of the labor law (CALLE), was allocated 5 million dollars and is implemented by IMPAQ to improve working conditions in the Mexican automotive parts sector by making more efficient enforcement of labor laws by the government, with a focus on aligning labor practices with the recent labor reform in Mexico,
Another project consists of improving adherence to international labor standards in the agricultural sector in Mexico, with a support of 8 million dollars and directed by Verité, which will work to improve compliance with labor laws related to child labor, forced labor, occupational safety and health and other working conditions in the sugar cane and tobacco sector in Jalisco and Nayarit.
A third case is called Empowering Women and Girls for the Future of Work (EQUAL), with $ 5 million and implemented by World Vision. It will focus on preparing vulnerable women and girls for the future of work in the sugar cane and coffee sectors through training and better access to labor rights in Oaxaca and Veracruz.
The $ 5 million project Engaging Workers and Civil Society to Strengthen Labor Law Enforcement is executed by the Solidarity Center and aims to develop the capacity of Mexican workers and democratic workers’ organizations in the context of labor law reform to raise awareness of labor standards, identify labor law violations, provide legal support, and enhance advocacy and administrative functions.
For the project Strengthening the application of labor law and the implementation of reforms, 5 million dollars were injected. It is managed by IMPAQ to support labor enforcement and the implementation of the labor law reform by training labor officials, developing a comprehensive and transparent system to register contracts and unions following the provisions of labor law reform, and aid to strengthen coordination between relevant institutions.