As the Mexican Senate prepares to reconvene on February 1, Maqulia Solidarity Network (MSN) has published an Update on intensifying debate over two competing bills that will define whether and to what degree Mexico’s Constitutional Reform to the labour justice system will be implemented.

The Update compares and contrasts the two bills, charts the timeline for eventual passage of the final version of the secondary legislation, and describes the possible impact of the NAFTA negotiations on the labour justice reform process.

On December 7, 2017, two senators from Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) submitted a bill to the Senate that, if approved, would undermine, if not nullify, the most important advances in the country’s Constitutional Reform to the labour justice system that became law in February of that year.

The two senators are leaders of corrupt “official unions”, the Confederación de Trabajadores de Mexico (CTM) and the Confederación Revolucionaria de Obreros y Campesinos (CROC), that are notorious for signing employer protection contracts without workers’ knowledge or consent. It is widely believed to have originated from the Executive Branch of the government and the private sector.

A second bill, coming from the National Union of Workers (UNT) and submitted to the Senate by a Senator from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), includes a number of provisions that would reinforce the Constitutional Reform.

Mexico’s independent unions and labour rights advocates are already condemning and mobilizing against the CTM/CROC bill. It is also being condemned by unions in Canada and the US, and by the Global Unions. Notably, prior to the bill’s introduction, the General Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) had voted to expel the CTM and the CROC for their practice of signing employer protection contracts.

MSN has been working with our allies in Mexico to monitor developments related to the labour justice reforms and encourage discussion and debate on issues surrounding the reforms and their implementation.

In July 2017, MSN published an in-depth Briefing Paper entitled Labour Justice Reform in Mexico. Based on MSN’s own research and in-depth interviews with 16 Mexican and international labour rights experts, it analyzes the Mexican government’s February 2017 Constitutional Reform and raises questions and concerns about how it will be implemented. Many of these concerns are now more important than ever given the problematic content of the CTM/CROC bill.

Read MSN’s full January 2018 update here.

Read MSN’s July 2017 Breifing Paper here.