Washington, D.C., September 2nd, 2021.
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Protection of migrant workers is strengthened with the signing of four agreements
WASHINGTON - This morning the Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma, and the United States Secretary of Labor, Martin Walsh, led a ceremony to renew collaboration agreements between the Government of Mexico and the Government of the United States, to advance the protection of the rights of Mexican workers in this country.
This event took place during the celebration of the 13th Labor Rights Week (LRW), an initiative of the Government of Mexico that seeks to increase awareness and inform the Mexican and Hispanic communities about their most fundamental labor rights through a series of events and activities. undertaken by the consular network of Mexico in the United States, in alliance with government agencies, civil society and other relevant actors.
The signing of the agreements is also a sign of the broad commitment of both governments to open dialogue and cooperation in the framework of the application of US labor laws in key sectors such as the agricultural industry and the processing and packaging of protein, as well as the commitments acquired in the USMCA. This was expressed in a communication by Ambassador Moctezuma to Secretary Walsh last May.
The renewed agreements included a joint declaration in which both governments expressed their intention to continue strengthening their cooperative relationships to promote a better understanding of the United States labor and employment laws by Mexican workers and their employers. Likewise, four agreements were renewed with the United States Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, the Office of the General Counsel of the National Relations Board Labor and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Moctezuma highlighted that "providing legal certainty and protection to migrant workers is a top priority for President Lopez Obrador. Therefore, we are committed to consolidate long-lasting alliances with valuable partners to fight against abuses and illegal practices. We are deeply grateful for the renewal of these agreements today".
"I think of all the Mexican and Mexican-American essential workers who have at great risk to themselves helped keep us safe, healthy and fed during the pandemic,” said US Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh. “Today we renew agreements that help ensure all workers in the United States have the right to full payment of wages and a safe place to work. We commit to making sure that Mexican workers know their rights and employers know their responsibilities under U.S. law.”
The chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Charlotte A. Burrows, said “Today’s agreement with Mexico cements the EEOC’s commitment to ensure immigrant employees, regardless of their immigration status, understand that they are protected under our laws. They have the right to be treated fairly and free from discrimination at work. Allowing employment discrimination to persist lowers the bar for all.”
The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Jennifer A. Abruzzo, said that “today’s letter of arrangement is a crucial step toward achieving our mutual goals. The NLRB and the federal law that we enforce, the National Labor Relations Act, protects workers who join together to collectively seek fair treatment, better wages, and improved working conditions. When workers know their rights, they are empowered to advocate for beneficial change in their workplaces.”
Also in attendance were James Frederick, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, and Jessica Looman, Acting Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.
The ceremony was held at the iconic Mexican Cultural Institute, which last June celebrated its 31st anniversary and in July celebrated its centennial hosting the missions of Mexico in the US capital. The event was broadcasted via social media and could be seen at the following link: https://youtu.be/-x4jOL-XpFU