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Barry LaSala (2001), "NAFTA and Worker Rights : An Analysis of the Labor Side Accord After Five Years of Operation and Suggested Improvements", Labor Lawyer , 16 (3) : 319-348

15 février 2001

This note examines the success of the NAFTA side accordthe North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). It concludes that Mexico has adequate labor standards in place but it lacks appropriate mechanisms to enforce its laws, and that the NAALC has failed to facilitate such enforcement. Section II discusses the general structure and technical procedures established in the NAALC, which are designed to resolve alleged labor law violations. Section III assesses the NAALC’s response to various labor complaints in Mexico. Particular emphasis is placed on determining if the allegations of the complainants were heard in a timely and efficient manner and whether the final resolution resulted in the advancement of worker rights. Section IV analyzes the overall effectiveness of the NAALC. It highlights Mexico’s inability to enforce its labor laws and illustrates the NAALC’s inability to address this concern. Section V proposes an arbitration system similar to commercial arbitration as an alternative to the current dispute resolution system prescribed by the NAALC. The author argues that arbitration will encourage fair, efficient, and timely resolution of labor disputes in this and future trade pacts, as well as offer a way to account for cultural, legal, and historical differences between nations when dealing in the sensitive area of labor relations.

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