As the U.S. supplies Mexico with more job opportunities, they are strongly advocating that the government creates institutions that protect worker's rights. In recent months, Mexico has seen large benefits from a process called nearshoring, where production is moved closer to the U.S. while still maintaining competitive market costs. This process is working in tandem with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement enacted in July of 2020. The new agreement has stricter rules on pushing for better working wages and conditions for those in Mexico.
After three years of activity, many workers are seeing benefits and improvement, but they are still far from full beneficial absorption. As seen recently, Mexico has given support to companies taking on higher ethical standards in the workplace, and according to the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs, Thea Lee, this should ensure that neighboring countries do not dump their labor production into Mexico looking for cheaper regulations. Poor regulations and unseen conditions would have been passable more or so 20 years ago, but today in 2023, it's unacceptable to be oblivious.
Mexico has also made progress in improving the resolution and communication of worker complaints in labor courts. U.S. labor complaints in Mexico have directed a way for independent unions to be created, influencing workers who in the past may have felt intimated to come forward and unionize.
"Our hope is that Mexico will be well-poised to take advantage of nearshoring…if they continue on the path towards really building labor institutions that work, where workers can have confidence," stated Lee.
There are four more cases under review in the labor courts regarding garment factories, tire companies, and company owned mines. By unionizing and adopting stronger labor regulations, workers have a sense of humanity knowing that they are more likely to be heard moving forward.