USW Commends USTR for Moving Forward Requirements for Guatemala to Abide By Its Workers’ Rights Commitments

Contact: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444,

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement after U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman yesterday announced that the United States will proceed with a labor enforcement case against Guatemala under the Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

"The announcement by the USTR is the proverbial good news, bad news story. The good news is that they are moving a case forward. The bad news is that, for six years, Guatemala has refused to alter its practices to ensure that their people receive internationally recognized workers’ rights.

“Litigation is not the objective here, as it only acknowledges workers being denied their rights. We want workers everywhere to be able to be free to readily exercise the rights to which they are entitled. In Guatemala, Honduras and elsewhere, governments need to know that failure to abide by their commitments is unacceptable.

“Workers’ rights are the fundamental building block for any just and prosperous society. Income inequality is rising globally because workers do not share in the fruits of their labor.

“This case must be buttressed by other actions to make it clear to workers around the world that their rights are a true priority.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information:

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