On October 30, 2018, President Enrique Peña Nieto published in the Official Gazette the Decree issued by the Mexican Senate approving Convention 98 of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare published in the Official Gazette Official Standard NOM-035-STPS-2018 (hereinafter “the NOM”) on psychosocial factors at work. The NOM sets forth the elements to identify, analyse and prevent psychosocial risk factors, as well as to promote a favourable organizational environment within the workplace.
From the NOM, the following main points may be highlighted:
- The NOM will apply to companies having fifteen or more employees.
- The Employer must set forth in writing, implement, maintain and disseminate throughout the workplace a psychosocial risk prevention policy that includes:
- The prevention of psychosocial risk factors.
- The prevention of workplace violence.
- The promotion of a favourable organizational environment.
- Employees are a key factor of this NOM: they must collaborate in order to have a favourable organizational environment and prevent any type of violence within the workplace.
On October 1st, 2018, the Governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada reached an agreement as part of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), generating a new commercial treaty among the three countries. The new trade agreement has not been signed by the parties, neither has it been ratified by the corresponding parliaments, senates or offices. Chapter 23 of the new trade agreement specifies the labour legislations which must be fulfilled by the State Parties. Annex 23 – A of the chapter was included for Mexico, which the Mexican government must comply with in order to be considered a party to the Agreement.
(September. 2018) The Senate ratified Mexico’s adhesion to Convention 98 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the right of freedom of association and free collective bargaining. This Convention that is a treaty, will become part of the Mexican legal system due to its binding effects.
From Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention, which are the most relevant, we may highlight:
- Workers must be absolutely free to join or not to join a union, or quit being affiliated to it, as their job should not be subject to the condition of being affiliated to a union.
- Therefore, unions will face the challenge of reinventing themselves to convince workers of the free decision to join them.
- Unions must be free of any interference from employers in their activities, including payment of union dues.
- Employers shall not organize workers’ unions.
- Union sponsorship by employers is considered as interference; unions should only be supported by dues from their affiliates.
- Work conditions must result from collective bargaining agreements.
- It must be highlighted that this Convention is an international treaty thus, its provisions are binding for the ratifying parties and, according to our Constitution, international treaties are part of our legal system.
- Finally, due to the ratification of this Convention, the Mexican Labour Law should be modified to eliminate Article 395, which currently rules the Closed Shop Clause upon Admission and a modernization of the current procedure to strike should be undertaken.
(October. 2018) The US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, announced having reached a trade agreement together with Mexico, as part of the renegotiation of what was previously known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
As expected, the trade agreement will include a labour chapter, in terms of which violations to its provisions could have more severe consequences.
Although the definitive and official text of the labour chapter is not yet known, Mexico’s Ministry of Economy, through a statement, informed that its purpose is to “Reaffirm the commitments assumed by the Parties within the framework of the 1998 Declaration of the International Labour Organization regarding Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, guaranteeing the effective implementation of fundamental labour rights in the legislation of each Party, and promote transparency in the application of labour legislation”. A statement of shared commitments is also made in relation to the International Labour Organization Declaration on Rights at Work and on Social Justice.
In the USMCA, acronym in English of the new commercial agreement, the content included in the TPP is reproduced, which is in accordance with the constitutional changes that Mexico has carried out. However, the modification of the secondary legislation is pending, which does not have a specific date for its discussion; however, on September 20th, 2018, the Mexican Senate ratified Convention 98 of the International Labour Organization regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining, which is in accordance with the contents of the Chapter included in both the TPP and the USMCA.
Under the new labour obligations accepted in the TPP and in the USMCA, it is necessary for Mexican companies to carry out an analysis of their union strategy, especially those companies that have a “non-active” or protective collective bargaining agreement, due that the new legal framework, once ratified by the Mexican Senate, will imply the immediate fulfilment (“compliance”) of diverse obligations that will have the rank of constitutional disposition.
The emerging, and highly ambitious program, ‘Young Building the Future’, will be implemented starting December 1, 2018. Phase one of this project will pursue the granting of scholarships to 300 thousand young people who have been rejected by public schools and universities, or who do not have economic resources to continue their studies. Phase two consists of training 2 million 300 thousand young people for their first job opportunity as apprentices in different companies established across the country. This means that the government will pay for the training for one year. Also, each youngster will be paid 1.5 the minimum wages, monthly
A Labour Chapter is introduced, very similar to Chapter 19 of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), where the parties are obliged to apply the principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO); these are binding rules of the Treaty and mechanisms are established for their observance and compliance.
Luisa Maria Alcalde, who will be the Minister of Labour during next Administration announced that she will propose a minimum daily wage of MXP $102.00 (USD $5.30 approx.) for 2019. In this way, the increase will be MXP $13.60 (around USD $0.70)
On July 1, 2018, Mexico had federal and local elections for several political positions, including the President, State Governors, Majors, among others. Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), candidate of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) won the Presidential election with 53% of the votes. For the first time in modern history, Mexico will be governed by a leftist President. Morena, which ideology is based on social equality and egalitarianism, also won the majority of both Chambers of the Congress
On June 22, 2018, it was published in the Official Gazette the Decree through which the Federal Law on the Declaration of Absence of Missing Persons is issued, and several provisions of the Mexican Labour Law and the Social Security Law are amended. Besides establishing the federal procedure for the issuance of the Special Declaration of Absence, the Law has as purpose acknowledging, protecting and guaranteeing the legal capacity of the Missing Person, providing legal certainty to the representation of her/his interests and granting appropriate measures to ensure the amplest protection to her/his relatives