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National Labor Relations Board and Mexican Foreign Ministry Sign Letter of Agreement to Strengthen Collaborative Efforts

Office of Public Affairs

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Mexican States have signed a letter of agreement designed to strengthen their collaborative efforts to provide Mexican workers, their employers, and Mexican business owners in the United States with information, guidance, and access to education regarding their rights and responsibilities under the National Labor Relations Act. 
The NLRB is the independent government agency responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between employers and employees in the private sector.  The Act guarantees workers the right to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions, or to refrain from such activities.  Employers and employees alike are protected from unfair labor practices.
Under the framework announced today, the NLRB and the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as NLRB Regional Offices and Mexican Consulates nationwide, will cooperate to provide outreach, education, and training, and to develop best practices.  The Agreement is an outgrowth of initial negotiations between the NLRB’s Chicago office and the Mexican Consulate in Chicago. The framework has been used by other federal labor agencies, including the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which have similar agreements with the Mexican Embassy and its consulates.
Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon indicated the agreement will “promote a broader awareness within the Mexican community of the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers, along with the services that the NLRB provides.”
“We recognize the need to improve employer and worker awareness of the rights and obligations under the Act that are applicable to all Mexican workers in the United States of America,” Solomon said.  “This agreement will give us a greater opportunity to fulfill the goals of the National Labor Relations Act, to guarantee the right of workers - including employees just entering the work force - to engage or refrain from engaging in protected-concerted or organizing activity to improve their working conditions without fear of discrimination, harassment or retaliation,” he added.
“With coordination from the consulates, we expect to meet with Mexican workers around the country to help forge innovative solutions to issues specific to their needs,” Acting General Counsel Solomon said.  He noted the letter of agreement will also increase the NLRB’s ability to provide employers, including Mexican business owners in the United States, with resources directly available to them, including access to education and training resources regarding rights and responsibilities under the Act.