What can brands do to support freedom of association in Mexico?

Despite the independent union movement's continued push for greater freedom of association, major obstacles to achieving this right persist, including corruption in Mexican labour institutions and endemic obstruction practices by employers and government. In the recent publication the Maquila Solidarity Network sets out some of the most important systemic issues that need to be addressed by brands that source goods in Mexico.

What can brands do to support freedom of association in Mexico?

Although Mexico's Federal Labour Law is, in general, a progressive piece of legislation, the historical relationship of most Mexican trade union organizations with the ruling political party and the state has made it extremely difficult for workers to exercise their right to form or join a union of their free choice and to bargain collectively with their employer.

Despite the independent union movement's continued push for greater freedom of association, major obstacles to achieving this right persist, including corruption in Mexican labour institutions and endemic obstruction practices by employers and government.

While brands should not be expected to replace the role of governments or to judge the legitimacy of any union, they can and should take concrete steps to ensure that workers in their Mexican supplier factories can exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Given the endemic violations of freedom of association in Mexico, there are proactive steps that brands should take to encourage respect for freedom of association and to prevent further violations from taking place.

In the recent publication 'What can brands do to support freedom of association in Mexico?', the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) sets out some of the most important systemic issues that need to be addressed by brands that source goods in Mexico.