United States and Mexico Announce Plan to Remediate Denials of Rights at RV Fresh Foods Facility (2024)

WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced a course of remediation to address denials of rights at the RV Fresh Foods facility, which produces guacamole in the state of Michoacán. This case is the first time the United States has used the mechanism in the food manufacturing sector. It is also the first time both the United States and Mexico have identified violations related to the conduct of the petitioning union. The remediation plan will provide a holistic solution to the issues at the facility, ensuring both the union and employer follow Mexican law and workers at the facility are able to enjoy their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

“This remediation plan will help to ensure workers at the RV Fresh facility can reap the benefits of union democracy as we continue to use the RRM to support Mexico’s labor reform and achieve conditions in which workers can exercise their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights without restriction, said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We commend the Government of Mexico for committing to take action at RV Fresh to address existing labor violations.”

"The remediation plan at RV Fresh supports workers’ ability to elect and govern their unions," said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Thea Lee. "This plan, developed in collaboration with the Mexican government, marks a significant step toward safeguarding workers' rights and advancing fair labor practices."

The course of remediation details a plan to remedy violations of Mexican law at the facility, and it includes measures aiming to prevent violations in the facility moving forward.

Under the course of remediation, the Government of Mexico will ensure that RV Fresh:

  • Distributes hard copies of the collective bargaining agreement to all workers;
  • Implements its neutrality statement and company guidelines on freedom of association and collective bargaining, including a zero-tolerance policy for violations, and commits to delivering annual training to all company personnel on these commitments;
  • Maintains on its website the company guidelines, neutrality statement, zero-tolerance policy for the violation of these policies, and information about how workers can file complaints with the Government of Mexico related to violations of their rights;
  • Implements the agreements it reached with the union through dialogue sessions led by the Government of Mexico, including following a protocol for the union’s access to the facility and an agreement that the company will not make payments to the union, unless those payments are union dues collected from workers pursuant to the union’s statutes;
  • Commits to allowing specialized trainings at the facility for workers, management, and union representatives on the role of labor organizations and union democracy in the workplace as provided for in Mexico’s labor law.

The Government of Mexico will ensure the union:

  • Submits updated statutes for the relevant Mexican labor authorities’ approval and provides the updated statutes to RV Fresh and workers;
  • Refrains from committing acts of extortion or obtaining gifts from RV Fresh;

The Government of Mexico will:

  • Inform RV Fresh company personnel and union representatives of the findings in Mexico’s report, and of the requirements set out in the Course of Remediation;
  • Monitor the facility, including by conducting periodic inspections related to the obligations of this course of remediation and compliance with Mexican laws related to freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • Maintain a telephone line and/or direct email address for workers to anonymously report any intimidation, coercion, or threats with respect to their selection of a union or union activities, or non-neutrality, or interference in internal union affairs;
  • Initiate sanctions proceedings, according to Mexican law, if Mexico has information that shows violations of Mexican law, and impose appropriate sanctions against individuals, labor organizations, or companies that have been found to violate Mexican law.

The United States and Mexico agreed to establish a deadline of June 14, 2024 to complete the course of remediation.

The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On January 17, 2024, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores y Empleados de la Industria del Comercio, Alimenticia, Textil, Automotriz, Metalúrgica, Servicios y Distribución Generalísimo José María Morelos y Pavón, a Mexican union, and the Confederación Central Nacional (COCENA), a Mexican union confederation. The petition alleges RV Fresh Foods committed acts of employer interference in union activities, including by restricting the union’s access to the facility and intervening in the process of electing union delegates. The ILC reviews RRM petitions that it receives, and the accompanying information, within 30 days.

The ILC determined that there was sufficient, credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms. As a result, on February 16, 2024, the United States submitted a request to Mexico that Mexico conduct its own review. Mexico agreed, and on April 1, 2024, concluded there are ongoing denials of the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining at the facility. The United States and Mexico then agreed on a course of remediation to remediate the denials of rights.

Read the full course of remediation here.

Read an unofficial courtesy Spanish translation of the full course of remediation here.


United States and Mexico Announce Plan to Remediate Denials of Rights at RV Fresh Foods Facility (2024)


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