Mexican Labor Reforms—What Do They Mean?

  • Hemisphere Focus
    Dec 17, 2012

    Until this month, Mexico's labor code was a relic that recalled 1931 when it was established.  Lawmakers have tried for years to update it, but that did not happen until President Felipe Calderón decided to fast-track legislation in the lame duck period of his presidency.  For a U.S. president, such a gamble would be considered foolhardy.  In Mexico, it was a bold stroke, and it worked.  In September, Mexico's Chamber of Deputies, which is dominated by the union-backed Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), approved a version that stripped out some key measures on union transparency and elections that would limit the power of union leadership.  In October, the Senate, which is dominated by the National Action Party (PAN), reinstated these measures and returned the bill to the lower house.  After much haggling and a promise by the PRI to take up labor transparency in the future, the Senate passed a final version by 99 votes to 28 on November 13.  President Calderón signed a decree that enacted the law on December 1.

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Stephen Johnson