The STPS enlists more inspectors for the legitimation of agreements

Note published on June 22 in El Economista, Empresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.
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Even though there are those who ask for an extension to move the legitimation deadline beyond May 1 2023, the Secretary of Labor, Luisa Alcalde Luján, states that it is not likely that this extension will be granted.

The incorporation of more inspectors to observe and qualify the legitimation processes, which are expected to increase significantly once the deadline approaches, is one of the measures being prepared by the Department of Labor and Social Welfare and the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration to face the fulfillment of an obligation required by the labor reform and the Chapter on Labor of the USMCA.

“We are working on planning, a significant increase is expected from July to April of next year (in terms of legitimations). We are ready, the STPS will intensify its support to the Federal Center through the agreement that we have in place of having sufficient capacity without any problems”, said the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, Luisa María Alcalde Luján. Even though there are those who ask for an extension to move the legitimation deadline beyond May 1 2023, the head of Labor says that “it is a legislative matter” and, therefore, granting an extension is not planned.

In parallel, in the business sector, there is a high possibility that 90% of collective bargaining agreements remain without union representation, and there are sectors such as the service sector, where individual contracts are the norm.

Graciela Bensunsán, an academic at UAM-Xochimilco who is also one of the experts from Mexico to be part the labor panel within the trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA), explained that “they are hiring more inspectors for this specific purpose and, thus, the Center and the Department of Labor are preparing themselves to face this possible increase in the demand of legitimation applications and processes.”

After pointing out that they have technological instruments that can help speed  the processes up, she underlined that it is possible that support will be requested from the International Labor Organization (ILO) especially for cases in which observers are required, “we will see, but, yes, an effort is being made precisely to prepare to face greater demand.”

Unionization will be at a minimum

Meanwhile Óscar de la Vega, a partner at the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Firm, predicts that there will be an environment of free unionization, which does not mean that the employer will pay less, the cost will probably be higher, but much of this will depend on whether the company is able to connect with the workers.

“Non-unionization is basically eliminating the participation of third parties, which are the unions. It will depend highly on the sector, on the one hand we have heavy industry such as the maquila industry, which has many people, minimum wages, poor or fair academic training; and, on the other hand, the retail sector, which has a very high turnover and is a sector in which there is no real interest from people to unionize”, he said.

The service sector follows this same vein “in which unionization will be zero. I believe that we will end up with a low percentage of unionization.”