New MOU between California’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency and Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strengthens labor rights and protections for Mexican workers in California
SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and LWDA and its entities, including the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), Employment Development Department (EDD), and Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its divisions, the Labor Commissioner’s Office, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), and the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The MOU is intended to strengthen collaboration between the two governments to enhance labor rights and protections for Mexican nationals working in California.
Recognizing a need to reach and inform workers about their labor rights and enforce California’s laws to protect all workers, including those who are most vulnerable to suffering labor violations, the MOU outlines four shared objectives:
- Identify and develop areas of training to increase knowledge of California labor laws, benefits, protections, and relevant services available to Mexican individuals.
- Conduct outreach about California labor laws, benefits, and protections to workers and employers in key industries and geographical regions.
- Improve communication and collaboration between the two governments to better support each other’s activities related to protecting workers.
- Foster a conversation between the two governments about critical, urgent, and emerging issues concerning Mexican workers and develop strategies to improve how the governments work together to address those issues.
“This agreement establishes a critical partnership between our governments to protect all workers in California,” said California Labor Secretary Stewart Knox. “We are proud to come together with Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to expand resources and further our reach so we can support more workers who need help and may be unaware of the rights and protections our state has to offer.”
Also included in the MOU are three areas of cooperation for Training and Education, Outreach and Communication, and Promotion of a Bilateral Dialogue. Collaboration focuses are further outlined in these areas and include efforts for enhanced outreach, cross-training staff, addressing service delivery needs to better serve workers, support in labor investigations, and tackling labor issues such as labor trafficking and worker protection during emergencies like pandemics and wildfires.
The signing ceremony occurred yesterday in Sacramento, Calif., and was conducted by California Labor Secretary Stewart Knox and Liliana Ferrer, Mexico’s Consul General in Sacramento.
“Today, the Mexican consular network celebrates its strategic partnership with the Secretary of Labor of the State of California. With the signing of this MOU we jointly commit to promote labor rights of all Californians regardless of immigration status,” said Consul General Liliana Ferrer. “We applaud and appreciate the recognition once again given to the many contributions made by our connationals to California’s great economy.”
This agreement formalizes a valued relationship between the State of California and Mexico, and marks a significant milestone for labor rights and protections in California. The full text of the MOU can be found here.