Grupo Mexico v United Steelworkers (USW) and the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic (Los Mineros)

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 18/02/2016
Date Closed 09/08/2016
Case Duration 24 weeks and 5 days
Host Countries Mexico  (OECD member)
US  (OECD member)

Issue(s) Failure to respect the right to collective bargaining
Provisions Cited II.A.9  II.A.10  II.A.11  IV.1  IV.2  IV.4  IV.5  IV.6  V.1-a  V.1-b  V.2-b  V.2-c  XI.1   
Case Description In February 2016, the United Steelworkers (USW) and the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic (Los Mineros) filed a complaint at the US NCP against Mexican mining conglomerate Grupo Mexico and its U.S. subsidiary, Asarco, for violations of workers’ rights in both the US and Mexico. While the specific contents of the complaint are confidential (under the rules of the US NCP), the USW has accused Tucson, Ariz.-based Asarco of multiple unfair labor practices in the United States, including threatening workers, unlawfully implementing changes in workplace conditions, and failing to negotiate with the unions at the company’s five U.S. facilities. More than 2,000 workers have continued to work at Asarco’s copper mines and processing facilities under the terms and conditions of a labor agreement that originally expired in June 2013 but was extended until the parties terminated it in June 2015.

The filing of the complaint coincided with preparations for the 10th anniversary of an explosion at the Grupo Mexico mine at Pasta de Conchos in the state of Coahuila that killed 65 miners. The bodies of 63 of the miners remain trapped underground. Trade unions are demanding recovery of the bodies, compensation for the families of the victims, and prosecution of the responsible company and government officials.

Outcome On July 6, 2016, the U.S. NCP offered mediation on some of the issues raised in the specific instance, but mediation could not be established because the companies declined to participate in mediation through the office of the U.S. NCP.

Organisations

Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 

Companies

Multinational Company Grupo Mexico (Home country: Mexico)
Subsidiary ASARCO (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant SNTMMSSRM : National Sectoral Union 
Lead Complainant USW United Steelworkers of America : National Sectoral Union 

Related Documents

USW  [Publication date: 17/2/2016] 'USW, Mexican Miners’ Union Accuse Asarco, Parent Firm of Rights Violations'
   http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2016/usw-mexican-miners-union-acc
   use-asarco-parent-firm-of-rights-violations
[Date URL accessed: 26/2/2016]

US NCP  [Publication date: 9/8/2016] 'USW: Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalurgicos, Siderurgicos y Similares de la Republica Mexicana (Mineros); Grupo Mexico'
   https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/261119.pdf [Date URL accessed: 19/6/2017]

US NCP  [Publication date: 9/8/2016] 'Specific Instance between USW; Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalurgicos, Siderurgicos y Similares de la Republica Mexicana (Mineros); and Grupo Mexico and its U.S. subsidiary, ASARCO, LLC for conduct in the United States'
   https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/261119.pdf [Date URL accessed: 25/7/2017]

TUAC Analysis

Did the NCP publish its initial assessment? status-icon
Did the case involve parallel proceedings? status-icon
Was the existence of parallel proceedings an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Was the businsess relationship other than that of a subsidiary? status-icon
Was the nature of the business relationship an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its acceptance of this case? status-icon
Did the NCP offer mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the company accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the complainant(s) accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation held? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation conducted by a professional mediator? status-icon
Did the parties reach agreement? status-icon
If yes, did the NCP publish this agreement following the consent of the parties? status-icon
If mediation was refused or failed did the NCP make an assessment of whether the company had breached the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP conduct in-host country fact finding? status-icon
Did the NCP make recommendations to the company on the future implementation of the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP publish its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP provide for follow-up of the agreement/recommendations? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP inform public pension funds about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP apply any consequences in this case? status-icon
Did the NCP follow the indicative timescales set out in the procedural guidance? status-icon
Was there a positive outcome for the workers involved in this case? status-icon
Did the filing of the case under the Guidelines have a positive impact for the workers involved? status-icon
Did the lead NCP play a positive role? status-icon
If different, did the home NCP play a positive role? status-icon