[co-author: Joaquin Junco Alvarez]
On October 13, 2016, the Senate of the Republic unanimously approved an initiative that amends several of the Labor Justice provisions of the Mexican Constitution regarding employment dispute hearings and union representation. If passed by the House and approved by the state legislatures, newly created tribunals and specialized authorities will adjudicate labor disputes and govern union relationships including collective bargaining, union registration, and employee representation verification.
These proposed amendments would replace the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards with federal and state labor courts. These courts would be under the Judicial Power of the Federation or a part of federal entities, and they would be responsible for issuing rulings and judgments in order to resolve conflicts between workers and employers.
A pre-conciliation stage is also proposed, consisting of a single, mandatory hearing conducted by conciliation centers at the local level. At the federal level, the conciliation will be conducted by an independent agency also responsible for the registration of collective bargaining agreements and union organization.
Additionally, the amendments strengthen the rights of workers by ensuring a free, individual, and confidential vote to choose union leaders, request the execution of a collective bargaining agreement, and to resolve conflicts with unions. Under this amendment any union aiming to hold the collective bargaining agreement of a given establishment, shall demonstrate to the labor authority that it has the representation of the employees of that establishment.
This initiative includes amendments to Articles 107 and 123 of the Mexican Constitution, which were proposed by the President of Mexico in April of this year. It will be submitted to the House of Representatives for further discussions and may undergo additional modifications.