Mexico accepts US request for labor survey at Panasonic

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s economy ministry has accepted a U.S. request to investigate allegations of labor abuse at a Panasonic auto parts plant in the northern border town of Reynosa, it said Monday.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) request earlier this month marked the third U.S. labor complaint under a new trade deal aimed at improving labor conditions in Mexico.

Mexico’s economy ministry said it sent its response Thursday and will review the case with the labor ministry to determine if workers’ rights have been violated under the U.S.-Mexico deal. -Canada 2020 (USMCA).

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The Mexican union that called for the investigation, SNITIS, accused Panasonic of having signed a union contract behind the workers’ backs and of having dismissed several dozen employees who had demonstrated.

Panasonic Corp of North America said it “respects and supports” the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining and does not believe they have been denied. The Japanese conglomerate unit added that it would cooperate with Mexican authorities.

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(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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