SEIU Files Groundbreaking NAFTA Complaint Against HB 56

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MEXICO CITY -- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and a Mexican labor lawyers group today filed a groundbreaking complaint with Mexico’s Department of Labor challenging Alabama’s anti-immigrant law HB 56 under the supplemental labor agreement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), the United States committed to uphold international labor principles and to effectively enforce labor laws related to those principles. The NAFTA labor agreement is the only trade agreement with a clause that specifically protects the rights of migrant workers, requiring that they be given the same legal protection as U.S. nationals in respect of working conditions.

Calling Alabama’s anti-immigrant law “discriminatory” and “abusive” toward all workers – not just immigrants – the complaint filed by the SEIU and the Mexican National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD) says that HB 56 violates international human rights and labor rights standards and undermines the ability of federal authorities to effectively enforce labor and employment laws.

SEIU also filed a complaint with the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland on April 2, charging that HB 56 violates workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively under international standards.

Read the complaint