Today, a year after the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came into effect, we’re feeling optimistic. On June 29, the USMCA Labor Council held its first meeting to discuss the implementation of the agreement’s labor chapter, Chapter 23. Our main takeaway: protecting migrant workers is a priority for all interested parties.
During the last few weeks, we have been mobilizing to make sure that migrant workers’ voices and perspectives were heard in the meeting. And I am happy to say that our efforts paid off.
Not only did Labor Council representatives explicitly talk about our USMCA complaint during the public session — they also addressed questions from migrant workers that we submitted to the governments of Mexico and the United States prior to the meeting. The issues workers raised ranged from gender discrimination in guestworker programs to migrant worker participation in the petition processes under the new trade agreement.
It was very exciting to see how migrant perspectives shaped high-level labor discussions between the three countries!
Today, on the first anniversary of the USMCA, we are hopeful — we see a clear willingness to include the voices of migrant workers and civil society organizations, and a commitment to collaborate in advancing labor justice in Mexico, the United States and Canada.