Last week Mexico’s Lower House approved what may be a final legislative initiative by outgoing president Felipe Calderon. The first labor reform law in 42 years is intended to boost employment in the country by restricting labor lawsuits, regulating outsourcing, and making it easier for employers to hire and fire workers.
But parts of the bill regarding union transparency and democratic practices were eliminated during debate. Trade unions, including the Mexican Electricians Union and the Mine and Metal Workers Union, as well as the union at state-run oil company PEMEX, have been traditional allies of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which stripped the union transparency and democracy elements from the draft law.
The “charro” or “corporativist” unions have been blamed for holding back Mexico’s economic and political development.
President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto has said he plans to open up Pemex to private investment to boost the country’s economic growth.
Maria Dolores Hernandez J. is a researcher for the members area of the FCPA Blog.