On October 1st, 2018, the Governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada reached an agreement regarding the right to collective bargaining, as well as drastic changes to the labour justice system substituting the current Labour Conciliation Boards by Labour Courts dependent to the judicial branch.
The new administration is about to pass a bill to reform the Mexican Labour Code, reforms which will enforce the new constitutional reforms, and the implementation of ILO’s Convention 98 on freedom of association and collective bargaining, Convention that has been recently ratified by the Mexican Senate.
The new administration is about to introduce a bill to reform the Mexican Labour Code, reforms which will enforce the new constitutional reforms, and the implementation of ILO’s Convention 98 on freedom of association and collective bargaining, Convention that has been recently ratified by the Mexican Senate. This new legislation is also in line with the commitments that Mexico undertook in Annex 23-A. of the USMCA.
The new legislation for the Mexican Labour Code shall include:
- Provide in its labour laws, through legislation in accordance with Mexico’s Constitution for an effective system to verify that elections of union leaders are carried out through a personal, free, and secret vote of union members.
- Provide in its labour laws that union representation challenges are carried out by the Labour Courts through a secret ballot vote, and are not subject to delays due to procedural challenges or objections, including by establishing clear time limits and procedures, consistent with Mexico’s obligations.
- Adopt legislation in accordance with Mexico’s Constitution, requiring: (a) verification by the independent entity that collective bargaining agreements meet legal requirements related to worker support in order for them to be registered and take legal effect; and (b) for the registration of an initial collective bargaining agreement, majority support, through exercise of a personal, free, and secret vote, of workers covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
- All existing Collective Bargaining Agreements shall include a requirement for majority support, through the exercise of personal, free, and secret vote of the workers covered by those collective bargaining agreements.
- It is the expectation of the Parties that Mexico shall adopt legislation described above before January 1, 2019. It is further understood that entry into force of the agreement may be delayed until such legislation becomes effective.
The UMSCA and the Convention 98, are international treaties which are legally binding for Mexico in accordance to the Mexican Constitution, consequently the Labour Code has to be amended to comply with these obligations.