US files new labor complaint in Mexico, eyeing allegations at Unique Fabricating

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -The U.S. government on Monday filed its seventh labor complaint in Mexico under a trade pact that aims to improve workplace conditions, asking Mexican officials to probe alleged rights abuses at a plant owned by U.S. firm Unique Fabricating Inc.

U.S. labor officials said a Mexican union alleged workers were denied the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining at Unique Fabricating's plant in the central state of Queretaro, in violation of the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

"The union alleges Unique Fabricating refused to grant the union access to the facility and interfered with its organizing efforts," the Department of Labor said in a statement.

Unique Fabricating did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Michigan-based company makes parts for the automotive, appliance and medical sectors, and lists on its website clients including Tesla Inc and General Motors Co.

The Mexican government has ten days to review the U.S. request, and if it accepts, another 45 days to investigate the case. Mexican officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Previous USMCA complaints have led to probes at companies including automakers General Motors and Stellantis NV, as well as a review still under way at auto parts plant VU Manufacturing in the northern city of Piedras Negras.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico CityEditing by Dan Whitcomb and Matthew Lewis)