Better without unions?

Note published in IDC OnLine, Negocios [Business] Section by Valeria Torres
Read the note in its original source

With the implementation of the 2019 labor reform, the provisions for companies and the representation of employees by unions have changed, this with the objective of eradicating bad practices in these matters, such as simulation; therefore, employers can now better eliminate this mode.

According to the founding partner of  De la Vega & Martínez Rojas S.C., Óscar De la Vega, one of the “new freedoms” of the reform is that the worker has the option of simply not joining a union.

“This is relevant because traditionally, historically, there was no alternative in the country; through a series of ties that existed, legally, for the worker having the obligation of being unionized and to remain affiliated to the certified union because, otherwise, he could lose his job, what is known as the exclusion by separation clause, this clause has disappeared.”

Additionally, De la Vega stated that the payment of union dues is no longer mandatory, and this does not mean that the worker would not be under the protection of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in view of the right to work principle.

In addition to the “bad reputation” of these organizations because of the cases of corruption and lack of attention to the needs of the workers, in the context of young workers, people are no longer interested in having this protection.

“The vast majority of workers are young people, and young people, because of the  perception of corruption that exists and that prevails in the unions, and because of their training, which is different; they want to be independent from everything, I believe that the percentage of people who want to be unionized will decrease”, he said.

At the same time, the regulation in freedom of association matters, not only in the labor reform, but also in international agreements adopted by the country, could create complications in the compliance of companies and, in order to avoid fines or controversy panels that lead to the payment of tariff quotas, a good option is for unions to disappear.

“Companies will now either have unions that are real, representative and independent or they will have to discard the mode of “protection” unions, why? Because that type of union is not defensible within the commitments acquired within the USMCA”, he stated.

What must unions do to survive?

De la Vega pointed out that, just as it happened with the Chambers of Commerce, unions must prove that they are organizations that are at the service of the workers, that they are aware of the workers’ concerns and watch over them in order to be able to subsist in the future of labor.

“Unionism is facing a truly important challenge, it has to reestablish its strategies, they have to become unions that serve and are in contact with the people”, he reiterated.