Mexico To Probe N.Y. WC Board

Angry over lengthy delays in claim processing, a coalition of immigrant workers' rights groups in the United States has persuaded a Mexican unit of NAFTA to investigate the New York State Workers Compensation Board.

The action, permissible under a side agreement of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, was taken because "Mexico says they are going to do the investigation in six months and thats lots shorter than the time a lot of the claims have been pending," said Sameer M. Ashar, a lawyer for the workers.

In the event that the lengthy procedure outlined in the treaty does not solve the case, it could ultimately result in arbitration or economic sanctions, according to a U.S. government official, Alfonso Onate, executive director of the Commission for Labor Cooperation in Washington.

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