Local unions delay changes

Note published in Reforma, Negocios [Business] Section by Verónica Gascón.
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Note published in El Norte, Negocios [Business] Section by Verónica Gascón.
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Note published in Mural, Business Section by Verónica Gascón.
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Reform is progressing slowly
Through the labor reform, it is sought that unions adapt their statutes to allow:

·      Personal, free, direct and secret voting in the election of leaders.

·      Guarantees for democratic electoral processes.

·      Transparency in the handling of union resources.

·      Gender proportionality in executive positions.

·      Freedom to belong to a union or not and to freedom to unionize.


Source: STPS [Department of Labor and Social Welfare]


The adaptation of union statutes to include personal, free and direct voting, in addition to gender equality, has advanced in only 10 percent at the level of local organizations, according to the Department of Labor.

Only one thousand 343 active unions with local registration have complied with this obligation subscribed in the labor reform, out of a total of almost 14 thousand existing unions.

There is significant progress at the federal level since, out of the 2 thousand 48 active unions, one thousand and 754 have adapted their statutes, which represents an advance of 85 percent.

In accordance with the Minutes of the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Coordination Council for the Implementation of the Reform to the Labor Justice System, Sinaloa, Campeche, Yucatán, and San Luis Potosí, are the states that are furthest behind in this procedure.

Jalisco, Chihuahua, Sonora and Quintana Roo are the states with the greatest progress on this matter.

As part of the labor reform, unions have a set period of time to adapt their statutes and to include the requirement of allowing personal, free, direct and secret voting in the election of their leaders. Additionally, gender equality and the transparent handling of resources are presented.

Diego García Saucedo, a member of the Mexican Academy of Labor Procedural Law, said that the delay in the adaptation of the statutes reflects a resistance to comply with the mandates of the labor reform.

“The resistance in the local unions is foreseeable as, for decades, they have been used to handling their affairs with the Conciliation Boards and not sharing their actions in a transparent manner”, he stated.

He believes that the biggest challenge will be for the State Conciliation Centers to regularize their situation.

For his part, Héctor de la Cruz, an expert in Labor Law at the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Firm, stated that advance on the adaptation of the statutes of the local unions is poor and that this could be noted by trade partners within the framework of the USMCA.

He recalled that the entry into force of the USMCA makes it mandatory for all unions to enter into collective bargaining agreements that truly represent the interests of the workers and making the workers’ votes count.

If this is not achieved, he said, trade partners could impose tariff penalties to the companies in question.

On the other hand, unions must also comply with the legitimation of collective bargaining agreements, having to achieve this within a term of 4 years, counting from the entry into force of the Law, which was in May, 2019.

In this sense 71 thousand 500 workers have exercised their personal vote for the legitimation of 168 collective bargaining agreements through 340 consultations.