Will Mexico be able to comply with the labor chapter of the USMCA?

Note published on August 16 in EsEuro, México Section by Fleurette-Bonami.
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Note published on August 16 in IDC Online, Comercio Exterior [Foreign Trade] Section by the Editorial Department.
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On July 18, 2022, the Inter-Institutional Labor Monitoring and Compliance Committee published the Fifth Report on the Implementation of the USMCA and the Labor Reform in Mexico for consideration by the Finance Committee of the US Senate, in which it noted its concern for guaranteeing the legitimation of collective bargaining agreements.

It explained that out of a total of 559,969 registered collective bargaining agreements, only 4,794 underwent a legitimation process; 43 of these were rejected and, therefore, terminated.

“It is important to note that, in regard to requests for the appropriation of collective bargaining agreements, 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 date of submission of the requests”, he stated.

In this sense, the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas, SC Firm pointed out that the interested parties, such as workers, governments, unions, companies and the labor community in general, have also raised their 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 voting once again.

Additionally, among the various projects financed by the United States Government for the implementation of the labor reform in Mexico, the $12 million 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.