On 31 July 2019, the Protocol for the Legitimation of Existing Collective Bargain Agreements was published in the Official Journal of the Federation. The objective of this Protocol is to establish the procedures and mechanisms for compliance with provisions contained in the amendment to article 123, published in February 2017, as well as the international agreements assumed by Mexico to the effect that, within a period of four years, counted as from 1 May 2019, all existing collective bargaining agreements will be reviewed at least once during that period.
These revisions shall be filed with the Federal Labour Conciliation and Registration Center, which shall verify that the workers have been made aware of the contents of the collective bargaining agreement, that a printed copy thereof has been delivered by the employers, and also that the contract has the support of the majority of workers concerned by means of a personal, free and secret vote. The sanction for not carrying out these revisions and legitimations will be the termination of the mentioned contracts.
In consideration of the fact that the Federal Center for Conciliation and Federal Registry has a term of two years for its incorporation and to begin its registration responsibilities, the aforementioned Transitional Article 11th of the reform granted the Ministry of Labour and Social Security established a three month term to publish the protocol for the implementation of necessary measures to file and legitimate existing collective agreements; protocol which will be in effect until the aforementioned Federal Center for Conciliation and Federal Registry enters into force.
In compliance with this transitory provision, the Protocol was published; please find a summary herewith:
For the purpose of legitimising a collective bargaining agreement and until the Federal Center for Conciliation and Federal Registry begins its registration and verification functions, the union that holds a collective bargaining agreement shall notify the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (STPS), that it will consult the workers to determine if the majority supports such an agreement. The notice must be given electronically and at least 10 working days prior to the consult day.
The union must provide, among other information:
- Full name of the employer, denomination or trade name, federal taxpayer registry, economic branch or main activity, email and telephone.
- Labour authority and file number under which the agreement is registered.
- Number of workers covered by the contract.
- List of workers with right to vote.
- Main benefits (e.g. vacations, vacation prime and wage tabulator).
- Date, hour and domicile where the consult will be taken, which must be accessible to all workers.
Once the promoting union serves notice of the voting date to the workers, it must immediately notify the employer to grant all necessary facilities for the consultation, as well as to provide to the workers a printed copy of the collective bargain agreement. The employer may not intervene in the process of the consult.
Once the voting has taken place, the union shall make public the record of the vote in visible or accessible sites of the workplace and in the union premises. Failing these requirements will have as a consequence that the contract will not be considered legitimate.
The notice should mention the day and time of the consult, result, number of workers with right to vote, total number of votes, number of valid and invalid votes, and number of votes in favour and against the contract.
The Labour Authority has the authority to verify the compliance of the requirements established in the protocol. If the data in the verification certificate shows irregularities, the STPS will declare the procedure null and void. In this case, the promoting union will be able to carry out the consult again; however; if within a 20 working days’ period after the day the union submits the result notice, the STPS does not make any observations, the collective bargain agreement will be considered as legitimate.
If the collective bargain agreement subject to the consult does not have the support of the majority of the workers, this contract will be terminated. However, benefits and working conditions will remain enforceable for the parties.
The STPS could solicit the Labour Boards to promote the legitimisation of collective bargaining agreements registered with the Unions, before 1 May 2023, under the notice that failure to comply will entail their termination.
It is very important to highlight that the protocol in not intended to verify the approval of the celebration of initial collective bargaining agreements.
The protocol has been valid since the day after its publication (1 August 2019) and will be in force until the Federal Center of Labour Conciliation and Registration is created and begins its registration activities.