NAALC – What does it stand for?

The Acronym NAALC stands for North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation and is part of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).

The NAALC is providing guidance for labor principles instead of minimum standards regarding domestic laws and so the agreement is not requiring the U.S. Mexico, or Canada to amend existing legislation or enact new legislation to comply with all NAALC principles. NAALC is an agreement to connect and enhance the spheres of gender and trade and gender and aims to create a gender-conscious and equal World Trade Organization. The following CNN video explains what NAFTA is and how it works.

The NAALC Agreement came into effect in January 1994 as a side-letter agreement of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. Its key objective was and is the improvement of living standards and working conditions in the three countries while NAFTA is continuing to promote and enhance closer and better economic ties and trade among the countries.

The NAALC agreement arranges for the establishment of National Administrative Offices, NAOs, in the countries to see the Agreement will be implemented and to be important contact points between the three national governments. The NAALC is an important historic document. It was signed in September of 1993 by President of the United States Bill Clinton, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and by Canada’s Prime Minister Kim Campbell. The Agreement was actually the first time that the U.S. had negotiated about an agreement that was dealing with labor standards in combination with an important international trade treaty.

In the Agreement, Labor laws are defined pretty broadly and include regulations and laws directly relating to the protection of the right to organize; the freedom of association; the right to collective bargaining; the right to strike; the prohibition of all sorts of forced labor; labor and health protection for young persons and children; minimum employment and health standards like overtime pay and minimum wages; the covering of wage earners including the ones not covered under collective agreements; the elimination of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age, or any other ground in line with each country’s laws; equal pay for women and men; prevention of illness and occupational injuries; compensation in case of injury or occupational injury; and the protection of the rights of migrant workers.

Close Menu