Looming Mexico Labor Transformation Beginning to Take Shape

December 07, 2018

New trade union recognition laws, new outsourcing rules, and minimum wage hikes are on the immediate agenda of recently inaugurated Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

Drafts of new federal laws on trade union recognition and collective bargaining are expected to be published within the next two weeks.  The plan is for them to be put on the statute books in January and phased in over two years. 

Sources on both sides close to the text express concerns:  Employers fear that the promised free ballots outlined in the USMCA Treaty may not be as "clear, open and free" as suggested, and the trade unions at the country and international levels are calling for freedom of choice that favors the so-called "independent" unions.

What is certain:  Mexico’s unique “protection contracts” will not be sustainable into the future.

How the trade unions will respond is becoming clearer.  The newly-elected Senator and Los Mineros union leader, Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, has been working with key single-factory unions in the automotive and aeronautical industries to constitute a new “union federation” called FESSIIAAAN.  The union federation will use the anticipated laws to attack the representation base of traditional unions like the CTM and the CROC.  One of the first battlegrounds is likely to be the huge Puebla manufacturing complex.  The union federation is also likely to seek more influence in national politics.

HR Policy will host a detailed workshop on the new laws once they are published.