US lawmakers criticize poor wage conditions at Goodyear

The Reuters agency noted the visit and criticism made by a group of US Democratic legislators to Goodyear Tire & Company in San Luis Potosí, for denying them access to their Mexican plant.

"What we saw in Goodyear clearly illustrates the entrenched way of doing business in Mexico, which is based on exploiting an impotent force," they accuse.
"What we saw in Goodyear clearly illustrates the entrenched way of doing business in Mexico, which is based on exploiting an impotent force," they accuse.

Democrats denounced the poor wage conditions at the plant and expressed doubts about Mexican labor reforms as a key to ensuring the approval of the new T-MEC between the United States-Mexico-Canada.

Four of the nine House Democrats who are negotiating with the Donald Trump administration on the trade agreement set out their concerns in a letter they sent to Goodyear Executive Richard Kramer.

"We are ... disappointed that an iconic American company such as Goodyear ... is not providing its workers in Mexico with internationally recognized basic labor rights and under Mexican law," said Representative Earl Blumenauer, president of the Subcommittee on Commerce of the chamber and the Media Committee and three other Democrats who signed the letter.

"While they tell us that Mexico's labor reform and a renewed NAFTA will lead to positive change in Mexico and America, what we saw in Goodyear clearly illustrates the entrenched way of doing business in Mexico, which is based on exploiting an impotent force, "they said.

The Trump administration wants Congress to approve the trade agreement to replace NAFTA, but Democrats have said they will not proceed until their work, climate, application and pharmaceutical concerns are fulfilled.

Goodyear received the letter and replied:

"We strongly disagree with statements about our working conditions and work practices and intend to give a full response to the letter within the allotted timeframe," said spokeswoman Melissa Monaco.

She said the need to train and certify workers and pressure to achieve production capacity by the end of the year meant that it was capable of housing only "limited to external visits." And he had offered the delegation of Democratic lawmakers to explore an off-site meeting with executives but received no response.

Blumenauer conducted a visit to Mexico from July 18 to 22, accompanied by representatives Rosa De Lauro, Terri Sewell and Jimmy Gomez also participated in the trip and signed the letter they sent to the planter.

They met with the workers who were fired from the Goodyear plant but were not allowed to visit the plant. They asked the company to respond within two weeks to reports of "poor working conditions, insufficient wages, illegal termination, and discrimination."

The San Luis Potosí plant in Goodyear opened in 2017, with salaries ranging from two to six dollars per hour, while most American Goodyear workers receive a base rate of $ 23 per hour, lawmakers said.

They qualified as a wild strike at the Mexican plant in April 2018, in which 600 of the 800 workers participated, demanding an improvement in their working conditions; 57 of the workers who participated in that movement were later dismissed systematically.

By Agency