With a vote looming in the Mexican Senate on labour reform proposals, the next two weeks will be crucial in the decades-long struggle to secure labour justice for Mexican workers. Affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean have been called upon to urge the Senate to reject the controversial proposals.
The President of the Senate has until 30 April to put the bill to a vote. If adopted, the reform would make a mockery of the constitutional labour reform introduced last February as a result of years of pressure by Mexican and international trade union organizations and other labour rights advocates.
Last year’s historic changes, aimed at addressing major deficiencies in the administration of labour justice in Mexico, were due to be implemented through secondary legislation which was expected to finally empower workers to exercise their fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively.
At the last minute, however, two grotesque labour reform proposals emerged which completely undermine the spirit and intent of the constitutional reform. The proposals strip workers of their fundamental labour rights and protect the vested interests of employers and “charro” unions, the ‘ghost’ unions which represent workers without their knowledge or consent – a practice that independent Mexican unions and the international labour movement have been trying to eradicate for years.
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