The Mexican Government has put forward a bill radically reforming Mexico’s labour laws, a further attack on independent trade unions by the right wing government and employers. The bill – proposes sweeping labour law reforms that seriously curtail workers’ rights and heighten job insecurity.
The ITUC and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) are firmly opposed to the bill and are hoping for a new proposal in keeping with the fundamental rights of the ILO and the recommendations of the Committee of Experts on the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR). The bill drafted by the PRI does not include the proposal made by trade unions to eradicate the “protection contracts” making it virtually impossible for workers to form free and democratic unions that represent their interests. Proposed amendments to establish a 40-hour week as well as improvements to seniority bonuses and the holiday system were also rejected. “The rejection of these proposed amendments is unacceptable,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “Once again, labour outsourcing, precarious contracts and unfair dismissals are being facilitated.”
In a letter to the Mexican authorities, the ITUC urged President Felipe Calderón to take on board the trade unions’ proposals and do everything possible to have the PRI bill withdrawn. It is essential that proposed labour reforms be drawn up within the framework of a genuinely tripartite process, including employers, the government and labour representatives, to ensure better protection of workers’ human rights and create a legal foundation on which a national strategy can be built for sustainable and effective development.