Informative note – report on monitoring of and compliance with the USCMA Labor Reform, issued by the Inter-Institutional Labor Monitoring and Compliance Committee of the United States Government

On July 18, 2022, the Inter-institutional Labor Monitoring and Compliance Committee issued the fifth report on the implementation of the USMCA and the labor reform in Mexico for review by the Finance Committee of the Senate of the United States of America. The report covers the actions and events of the first semester of 2022.

In this regard, it establishes that the Mexican Government continues implementing the May 2019 labor reform that transformed its labor justice system. This report recapitulates that the new institutions (Conciliation Courts and Centers) have been in operation in 21 Mexican states since November 3, 2021. The implementation of Phase 3 of the reform, for the remaining 11 states, was postponed from May 1 to October 3, 2022, leaving a period of only seven months before the deadline established by the reform. It emphasizes that some of the states included in the third phase, Mexico City in particular, face significant financing problems, specifically because they are historically the states with the greatest number of labor disputes, which increases the concern of the interested parties, in Mexico and in the United States, of this having a negative effect in the implementation of the reform.

The report informs that the rate of legitimation of the existing collective bargaining agreements decreased in relation to the last reporting period, and there is concern that the Mexican Government may not have the capability for handling a possible increase of legitimation requests before the deadline of May 1, 2023. Of a total of 559,969 registered collective bargaining agreements, only 4,794 have gone through a legitimation process, of which 43 were rejected and, therefore, terminated.

The interested parties, such as workers, governments, unions, companies and the labor community in general, have also raised concerns about the lack of capability of the labor authorities for investigating unfair labor practices relating to legitimation consultations and the application of penalties or remedies other than a new voting process.

In regard to the Rapid Response Mechanisms, the report states the following:

  • The United States requested the Mexican Government to conduct a review to determine whether there is a denial of rights within the framework of the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in two cases (Panasonic and Teksid), both auto parts facilities, for a total of four requests of this type of RRM since the entry into force of the USMCA.
  • The United States continued monitoring the implementation of the action plan agreed upon with Tridonex, an auto parts facility in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, in response to an RRM action initiated by the United States in June of 2021.
  • During the reference period the workers of the General Motors plant located at Silao, Guanajuato voted the approval of a new collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the National Independent Union of Automotive Industry Workers (SINTTIA).

Among the various projects financed by the United States Government for the implementation of the labor reform in Mexico, the 12 million USD project for the development and improvement of the capabilities of labor inspectors stands out. The report mentions that the training and preparation of inspectors will focus on prioritary sectors, relevant players within the supply chains and on the northern states of Mexico.

It should be noted that, in regard to motions for union certification [action by a labor union seeking to be recognized as the sole union qualified to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a given employer], there were 41 requests as of May 31, 2022. Voting processes were conducted for 14 of them out of which, in approximately 86% of the cases, the plaintiff union obtained the majority of votes. It should be noted that these consultations were held within an average of 3.4 months after the submission of the motions.

We remain truly yours for the clarification of any question in regard to this information.