Firms, without a guiding compass in face of the new labor regulations: experts

Note published in El Economista, Empresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.
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Companies, particularly exporters, must design compliance strategies in order to avoid facing accusations.

In spite of the messages that have reached our country, such as the preliminary report on compliance with the implementation of the labor reform, the complaint that the AFL-CIO seeks to file for non-compliance of the labor legislation by at least one company in Mexico and the interest of the Commerce Committee on labor issues, companies in Mexico are not responding effectively to the new requirements.

Specialists are concerned that the announcements in regard to the manner in which the United States is closely monitoring compliance with labor laws in our country are not being taken as signals that they need to work on specific strategies, because “in many instances they are thinking of maintaining the scheme as it has been up to now and waiting to see what happens, but if they are within this new block of export companies, I believe that they should already be working on strategy and implementation, otherwise, they will be subject to impugnation by these American unions”, said the specialist in international labor matters, Óscar de la Vega, of the D&M Abogados Firm.

He added that “we have already lost sovereignty in labor matters, everything will depend especially on exporting companies; they have to be concerned about this issue, (…) they must adhere to the new labor regulations.”

Another point for concern in Mexico is the fact that the new labor law does not include surveillance mechanisms for the legitimization of collective bargaining agreements, as 90% of these were qualified as protection agreements.

Alfonso Bouzas, coordinator of the Labor Observatory stated that “my concern is that they could end up legitimizing 90% of protection agreements because there is no surveillance mechanism in place.”

He stated that this is a weakness that was detected by American observers who, at the end of December, published a preliminary report that helps congressmen to take actions.

“It is clear that in Mexico corporate unions will not generously hand over the money and, from the first steps that were taken in the implementation, the ones that started moving their agreements were, mainly, the CROC [Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants] and the CTM [Confederation of Mexican Workers], corporate organizations that have always used legal loopholes”, added Bouzas.

Mexican specialists explained that the administration of labor relationships has to change completely, “(companies) can either have a strong, independent, representative union or it would be better that they put an end to the ‘protection union’ because they will be caught red-handed by these proceedings that we will start seeing against Mexico.