The Mexican government and two corporate trade union centres (CTM and CROC) submitted their proposed amendments to the Federal Labour Law (FLL) in December. A new session of Congress will begin on 1 February, when senators will debate the bill.
IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary, Valter Sanches, wrote to senators on 24 January asking them not to vote in favour of the bill because it attacks labour rights.
“These new proposals contain extremely harmful clauses that would facilitate an extreme model of outsourcing and the consequent precarisation of working conditions as well as promote the use of odious protection contracts rather than getting rid of them,” said Sanches.
The bill removes articles and rules that currently regulate outsourcing and also impedes freedom of association and collective bargaining.
“The initiative taken by CTM and CROC senators is an aberration against labour rights… For example, the unfettered freedom of companies to recruit workers under the new outsourcing rules, which promotes the use of protection contracts instead of getting rid of them, encourages the exploitation of workers and will lead to greater inequality in Mexico. The bill also restricts, obstructs and conditions collective bargaining, the right to strike and freedom of association, and has many other negative points,” explained Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president of IndustriALL affiliate, Los Mineros.
The proposal is in the interests of companies and corporate unions. If the bill is approved, companies will have access to cheap labour and unprotected workers that they will be able to dismiss easily.
Corporate unions will benefit because the bill promotes the use of employer protection contracts and creates a government agency that will be responsible for registering trade unions and collective agreements and that will be controlled by government-sponsored and corporate unions.
In his letters to Mexican senators, Sanches reminded them that democratization of labour relations, implementation of freedom of association and putting an end to the use of protection contracts in Mexico have for years been central demands of democratic Mexican trade unions and the international trade union movement. The demands form the core part of Complaint nº 2694, submitted by IndustriALL and the ITUC to the Committee on Freedom of Association of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Every year, representatives of the Mexican government and the corporate national centres promise the ILO conference that the new labour reform will end the use of protection contracts and guarantee freedom of association and collective bargaining. The bill submitted by the two PRI senators (members of the CTM and the CROC) in December proposes the exact opposite.
Sanches urged members of the Senate to reject the latest proposals to amend the Federal Labour Law and to instead approve secondary legislation that complies with international conventions and constitutional reforms that have already been unanimously approved.
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