DETROIT — On Wednesday, the UAW International Executive Board voted to establish a new solidarity project to support autoworkers in Mexico fighting for economic justice and improved working conditions.
The project will provide resources to Mexican workers and independent unions in Mexico, and aims to strengthen cross-border solidarity between U.S. and Mexican workers.
For decades, corporations have taken advantage of inadequate trade laws to offshore thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico where worker wages and conditions have long been suppressed. Corporations use the threat of offshoring jobs as a cudgel to beat back worker discontent and organizing efforts in the U.S.
Mexican autoworker wages have fallen dramatically since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. Under NAFTA, Mexico’s automotive workforce has grown seven-fold, while wages, benefits, and working conditions continue to fall behind.
The announcement of the UAW’s Mexico solidarity effort comes during a pivotal moment for the UAW, as over 10,000 non-union autoworkers have signed union cards in an effort to join the UAW. On Tuesday, the UAW announced it was committing $40 million through 2026 in new organizing funds to support non-union autoworkers and battery workers who are organizing across the U.S.