Informative Note on General Guidelines for Union Democracy Procedures

In a session held on July 26, 2022, the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration (“CFCRL”) unanimously agreed on the General Guidelines for Union Democracy Procedures, the purpose of which is establishing criteria for the processing, verification and organization of the processes involving the democratic exercise of the workers’ vote, such as the filing of the initial collective bargaining agreement, integral revisions of the collective bargaining agreement and union leadership elections. We consider that these guidelines do not apply to the Motion for Union Certification processes [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].

The document issued by the CFCRL consists of 8 chapters which reproduce and expound on the procedures set forth in Articles 371, 317 BIS, 390 BIS and 390 TER of the Federal Labor Law in regard to union democracy procedures; however, in its fifth chapter, it expressly provides the possibility of conducting “Electronic Voting” as a means for voting.  In this regard, it is established that electronic ballot boxes, systems or applications may be used to issue electronic votes in union democracy procedures conducted by unions, provided that the CFCRL verifies that the method in question ensures the exercise of personal, free, direct and secret voting.

In order to use an electronic voting method, unions must justify the need for conducting the procedure using this modality and must share the following information with the CFCRL:

  • Auditing protocols for each stage of implementation.
  • Effectiveness of the system to enable the worker to corroborate his vote.
  • Guarantees that the person issuing the vote is the one that has the right to do so and that said person only votes once.
  • Security and computer encryption elements.
  • Mechanisms for corroborating true and trustworthy results.

Using the above information, the CFCRL will determine whether it is possible to ascertain the mechanism’s reliability or, otherwise, it will notify the union so that it can remedy and correct this or, otherwise, to conduct the consultation in person.

For its part, the CFCRL may also use electronic means when voting in person is not viable due to the dispersion and/or residence of the voting workers in the case of unions with massive affiliations, because voting is to be conducted simultaneously in various federal entities or for any other circumstance that justifies it. In these cases, the CFCRL will define the system to be used and may agree on collaboration mechanisms with other agencies, entities, bodies for the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of  consultations.

Lastly, it is important to note that unions are responsible for the abovementioned Union Democracy Procedures. Companies, however, must provide the necessary assistance for said procedures to be conducted.

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