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Statement of the Migrant Defense Committee regarding the filing of the T-MEC complaint

We are fully convinced that it is essential that governments ensure compliance with the labor rights of migrant workers in the trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is unfortunate that to this day, the Mexican laborer is not protected. It is this “cheap” labor, that is an important and strong generator of income for the US economy. American companies profit from our work; the government must ensure the fulfillment of our rights.

The Migrant Defense Committee is proud to support Adareli, Maritza and countless other migrant workers in the first complaint under the T-MEC. This action represents an important effort to advance justice for thousands of migrant workers who suffer discrimination and other violations of their labor rights. We know that women seek opportunities to work and that they face discrimination because they are women; They are paid less than men, they are mistreated, harassed and abused. This cannot continue to happen. That is why it is very important to talk about these conditions that migrant women face and demand effective solutions.

A s a Committee, we fight for equal conditions in the workplace and call for equitable participation in temporary work programs with H-2 visas.

Working women must be respected and heard; their work is as valuable as men's. Companies and governments must value our work and the effort we make to leave our families and communities in Mexico. They must take into account our efforts and what benefits they receive from our labor as migrant workers.

If there is no monitoring with the companies or employers, we will not move forward. The employer does not pay attention, leaves all responsibility in the steward, and in turn the steward abuses their power and subjects migrant workers under threat and control. This must change.

We ask the U.S. government to heed this complaint and to monitor compliance with the rules and laws that protect the labor rights of migrant workers.

It is time to speak up, for governments to ensure that trade agreements include solid and strong protections for the labor rights of migrants and that discrimination based on gender, nationality or skin color or other, is eradicated. As people with experience of migrant work in the United States, leaders and promoters of new leadership, we demand dignified and equal treatment.

About the Migrant Defense Committee

The Migrant Defense Committee is a group of leaders who organize and train migrant workers. Composed of migrants, former migrants, and members of their families, the Committee forms a human chain through Mexico and the United States with a permanent presence among the migrant worker communities. The leaders of the Committee train other migrants to become human rights defenders, sharing with thousands of working people on both sides of the border the power to take the initiative to end abuses in the workplace.