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The Secretary of Labor of the United States of America and the Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare of Mexico, in accordance with the provisions of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), agree to carry out consultations on labor law dealing with women in the workplace, in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. With full respect for the sovereignty of the Parties and in the broad spirit of cooperation, the Parties agree to the following:

1. The Secretaries of Labor of the United States and Mexico and the Minister of Labour of Canada will designate officials to meet and confer on the issues raised in Submission No. 9701, including, (1) pregnancy discrimination in the workplace; (2) the extent of relief for post-hire pregnancy discrimination in Mexico, the United States, and Canada; (3) the legal mechanisms by which laws against discrimination for reason of gender are enforced in the three countries; and (4) an exchange of views among the National Administrative Offices (NAOs) on the U.S. NAO Public Report of Review of Submission No. 9701 on which basis the United States sought ministerial level consultations.

2. Mexico and the United States will each conduct information and outreach sessions at locations close to the U.S.-Mexico border for the purpose of disseminating information to workers, employers, government representatives and non-governmental organizations of both countries on the rights and protections afforded women workers of both countries. The speakers at the seminars will consist of representatives of those government agencies responsible for the enforcement of the relevant laws and other appropriate interested parties.

3. The Secretaries of Labor of the United States and Mexico and the Minister of Labour of Canada will instruct their respective NAOs to plan and conduct a conference, open to the public, at a location accessible to the citizens from the three Parties, on government mechanisms in each country that guarantee the respect and protection of the labor rights of working women and plans to ensure compliance with the laws that protect against employment discrimination. The conference will include the participation of government agencies responsible for enforcement of employment discrimination laws.

4. The Secretariat will complete a public report for the Ministers that reflects the issues considered in the sessions and conference referenced in paragraphs 2 and 3.

5. All of the above actions will be completed within nine months from the date of this agreement.

The signatories approve and adopt this agreement this 21 day of October 1998.

Alexis M. Herman José Antonio González Fernández
Secretary of Labor Secretario del Trabajo y Previsión Social
United States of America México

The Government of Canada endorses this agreement and agrees to participate in the program of consultations agreed to by the United States and Mexico.

Lawrence A. MacAulay
Minister of Labour

31 This document was transferred from the u.s. nao to Human Right Watch via electronic media and then downloaded into this report.

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