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US asks Mexico to review labor rights at Caterpillar subsidiary -USTR

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. has asked Mexico to review whether workers at Caterpillar subsidiary Tecnología Modificada are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday.

The latest review marks the 16th labor rights complaint against facilities in Mexico since the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade took effect in 2020.

The Tecnología Modificada facility, located in Nuevo Laredo, produces remanufactured auto parts, USTR said in a statement.

The USTR said the request was made in response to a petition from Mexican union SNITIS, which alleged the Caterpillar facility dismissed a worker in retaliation for union organizing activity.

"Workers are entitled to organize for and select the union of their choice without retaliation or interference from their employer," Tai said.

"Caterpillar upholds the principles of good faith bargaining and workers' rights," the company said in a statement. "We are actively engaged with the United States and Mexican governments to ensure swift resolution and our continued compliance with country laws wherever we operate," it said.

Washington wants the Mexican government to review the matter under the USMCA's Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. The Mexican government has 10 days to review the U.S. request, and if it accepts, another 45 days to investigate the case.

Irving, Texas-based Caterpillar is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; editing by Susan Heavey, Caitlin Webber and David Gregorio)