Recent Amendments to Mexican Labor Laws and Their Impact

New Mexican President, Lopez Obrador, is not wasting any time when it comes to making changes in office.  Back in 2017, the Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF) positioned for some changes to be made in the Mexican Federal Constitution. The changes were proposed as an attempt to transform the current labor justice system in Mexico. Specific attributes of these proposed reforms include: consolidate autonomy of the labor justice system, efficiency promotion when administering justice, and an overall increase in levels of labor productivity.

Some specific changes to the reform include the elimination of the local and federal conciliation and arbitration labor boards, the creation of a pre-judicial conciliatory stage, the formation of specialized conciliation centers, the integration of a decentralized agency that will be in charge of registering collective bargaining agreements and unionized organizations, the representation of collective union organizations and the ratification of collegiate circuit courts. Since all of these changes were initially proposed in 2017, it is apparent that much time and effort has been put into actually seeing these changes being put into practice now.

In more detail, the proposed conciliation center could be a very positive change for the Mexican judicial system, as it is hoped that the installation of such a center and affiliated practices will help to lower the number of issues that proceed to full court in Mexico. For example, the new laws are mandating that prior to any claims being filed in court, all employees will need to have attempted, whole-heartedly, to find a solution to the problem at hand. This will depend on employees being open to negotiations and not simply just filing claims that fill up the already busy judicial system. By creating a Conciliation Center, it is hoped that going through this new initial first step will provide more simple outcomes and lower the number of people who are filing claims every day.

Mexico currently has a classification for different types of employee unions. With the proposed changes, these union classifications will no longer exist. This amendment will create more responsibilities for unions to uphold, especially with regard to cross-national agreements and international treaties.

The most important expectation is that unions are clear and open for discussion with their employees about all of the upcoming and implemented changes, as they may affect employees in the future. Having an open and honest dialogue, while providing an opportunity for employees to ask questions, will be important for unions to encourage a positive adoption of the new rules and regulations. Due to the fact that the changes are in employment law, while changing the overall process of employees filing claims against their employers, it is important that all employees are made aware of the details of changes and how it affects them within their organizations or unions.

Overall, these amendments promote positive development across Mexico. By creating a new Conciliation Center, the country might be able to cut down on the number of employment law cases that can often be easily settled through negotiations and therefore leave more time, money, space and overall resources in the national judicial system for important, high-profile and dramatic cases.


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