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[Excerpt] In establishing their Agreement on Labor Cooperation as a complement to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico accepted the fact that each nation had evolved a different system of labor law and administration. They agreed that those systems should continue to evolve independently within each sovereign jurisdiction. But they also recognized the extremely important fact that these three systems were based on underlying principles which were held in common and which could be articulated. These are the 11 Labor Principles of the NAALC.

Each principle defines a sector of labor law, which is given concrete expression by the statutes and jurisprudence of the different jurisdictions. The parties to the NAALC undertake solemn obligations to ensure that their laws in these sectors are effectively enforced. Thus all competitors in the North American Free Trade area will operate under the law in regard to labor matters, administered openly and consistently. Such is a major objective of the NAALC.

The objective of this publication by the Commission for Labor Cooperation is to enable the public at large in North America, and not just specialists in comparative labor law, to know simply and clearly what those different labor law regimes are and how they are administered. The NAALC relies primarily on the public to draw attention to any deficiencies which may occur in regard to labor law administration. It is thus imperative that the public have ready access to the content of the laws and how they are meant to apply, organized following the schema of the NAALC.


Suggested Citation
Banks, K., Compa, L., Lara, L., & Polaski, S. (2000). Labor relations law in North America [Electronic version]. Washington, DC: Commission for Labor Cooperation.

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright held by Commission for Labor Cooperation. Reprinted with permission.