Monday, June 24, 2024

US and Mexico looking for migrants owed US $6.5M in wages

The United States and Mexico are looking for 13,000 migrant workers, owed almost US $6.5 million in unpaid wages, officials from both countries said on Tuesday. 

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will provide the Mexican Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) with a list of names of workers currently living in Mexico who are owed wages by U.S. employers. 

Two diplomats in an office display a signed agreement while giving thumbs up to the camera.
Ambassador Salazar credited closer ties between the two counties in helping to seal the agreement. (@USAmbMex/Twitter)

The DOL relied on inspections of U.S. workplaces to determine who had not received the legal minimum wage or overtime pay, the STPS said. 

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar emphasized that the agreement marks a major turning point for coordination on labor issues between the two countries. 

“[There are] 13,000 workers who have spent their time in the United States working and have not been paid. With this collaboration, they are going to get their money. They will receive US $6.5 million because they have already earned this money and they deserve it,” he said. 

“In past governments, this would not have happened … Now, because of the relationship we have … workers who have paid with their sweat will receive the pay they deserve.” 

STPS head Luisa María Alcalde noted that while the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico was once based mainly on commercial exchange, “today we agree that this relationship must protect the rights of the women and men who generate wealth.” 

“Our relationship with the United States is so close that we have an obligation to take concrete action to protect workers.”  

Mexico will now launch a campaign encouraging workers who believe they are owed wages to come forward. 

With reports from El Economista and Reuters

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