“If the freedom of a worker to decide whether he wants to belong to a union or not is sought to be guaranteed, that adjustment must be made in the law; the worker’s hiring for a job cannot be made conditional to forcibly belonging to a union”, stated Óscar de la Vega, labor specialist.
With the entry into force of the USMCA on July 1st, new adjustments to the Federal Labor Law (LFT) in collective bargaining matters will be necessary, specifically to its Article 395, that regulates the clause known as the “hiring exclusion clause”, through which a union monopoly is established by imposing on the employer the obligation of hiring only workers belonging to the union that it has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with and forcing applicants for a job to become a part of the union that holds the collective bargaining agreement.
The foregoing means that “if the freedom of a worker to decide whether he wants to belong to a union or not is sought to be guaranteed, that adjustment must be made in the law; the worker’s hiring for a job cannot be made conditional to forcibly belonging to a union”, stated Óscar de la Vega, labor specialist.
In this sense, specialists agree that the elimination of Article 395 of the LFT responds to the fulfillment of the obligations regarding Collective Bargaining and Freedom of Association acquired by Mexico in Chapter 23 and its Annex 23-A of the USMCA, which guarantee total freedom of association for workers and in congruence with Section I of Article 358 of the LFT itself which categorically states that no person can be forced to join a union or not join it.
Furthermore, the Minister of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, Luisa María Alcalde Luján, pointed out that it is obvious that several actions can be reinforced, “because the great risk we can face is that, partly due to ignorance, the democratic processes are not conducted following the provisions of the Law and that this could lead to some type of complaint of violation of union freedom or collective bargaining”.
She added that it may not be a case of flagrant violation of the new obligations and rights, but rather a lack of compliance with the new regulations of the new standards not made consciously, both in the case of employers and unions.
“For example, the fact of not forcing a worker to join a union when he is hired to work in a company. This is something that the Human Resources areas, if they are not aware of the changes, may run the risk of doing on impulse”.
Note published in El Economista, Empresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez