Hogan Lovells advises Cardone Industries in voluntary action plan agreement with USTR after USMCA labor petition
Washington, D.C. and Mexico City, 10 August 2021 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells advised automotive aftermarket manufacturer Cardone Industries, Inc. and its Mexican subsidiary, Tridonex, S. de R.L. de CV (Tridonex), on the complex regulatory and political dimensions of a petition filed under the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRLM) of the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA), leading to the successful negotiation of a voluntary action plan with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
The petition, initially filed in May by the AFL-CIO and other labor stakeholders, was one of the first complaints brought under the RRLM since the USMCA came into force last summer to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Consistent with Cardone’s longstanding commitment to workers’ rights, Cardone voluntarily agreed to implement new measures at its facility in Matamoros, State of Tamaulipas, Mexico to further advance the important labor reforms in Mexico and the labor standards in the USMCA. Cardone admits no fault or liability with respect to the matters raised in the petition and does not believe that a denial of workers’ rights has occurred at the facility.
The action plan includes commitments to support workers’ freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the proactive dissemination of the collective bargaining agreement, additional compensation for certain eligible workers, and continuing Tridonex’s robust efforts to ensure the safety of workers from COVID-19.
Hogan Lovells worked closely with Cardone and Tridonex to navigate these uncharted regulatory waters and find an agreement that worked for our client, its workers, and the U.S. and Mexican governments.
“The Hogan Lovells team’s deep experience navigating the U.S. regulatory and political systems involved in this negotiation, coupled with their unmatched understanding of how the USMCA impacts the automotive industry, allowed them to provide us with nuanced and actionable counsel that ultimately led to this positive result,” said Jessica Cicali, vice president, general counsel, and Corporate secretary for Cardone. “With our commitment to this voluntary action plan, we look forward to continuing to support our employees on both sides of the border as we work together to provide our customers with high-quality products.”
The international, cross-practice Hogan Lovells team included International Trade & Investment partners Kelly Ann Shaw, Jonathan Stoel, and Jared Wessel (Washington D.C.), and Mexico City partners Juan Francisco Torres Landa and Hugo Hernández-Ojeda Alvírez. Government Relations and Public Affairs partner Ivan Zapien and senior counsel Norm Coleman also provided key assistance.