USA: Coalition of labour & consumer groups file NAFTA and OECD complaints alleging labour abuses at Mexican retailer, Chedraui Commercial Group
Author: United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), FAT (Authentic Labor Front), Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER), Published on: 17 November 2015
[A] coalition of U.S. and Mexican labor and civil society groups...filed “double barrel” complaints today under the NAFTA labor agreement and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines to challenge workers’ rights abuses in both Mexico and the United States by Mexican retail giant Chedraui Commercial Group. The groups were led by the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770 (UFCW) union in the United States and the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) union in Mexico....The OECD complaint calls for a halt to El Super’s aggressive, multi-year campaign of coercion against workers seeking a living wage, adequate sick days and affordable health insurance. After a series of unfair labor practice charges, the U.S. federal government sought a rare injunction to force the company to rehire a wrongfully fired union activist and reinstate unlawfully changed benefits, and return to the bargaining table. The Federal Court issued injunctive relief and as a result of the government’s actions the company agreed to return to union contract negotiations with the UFCW. However, the company has continued to ignore its obligations under the National Labor Relations Act and the two sides remain far apart in bargaining. The NAFTA complaint alleges that Chedraui has cultivated dozens of sham unions in Mexico...This filing is the first time complaints about a company’s international labor abuses have been simultaneously submitted under both the OECD and NAFTA complaint mechanisms.