situation report

Jun 24, 2019 | 19:53 GMT

2 mins read

Mexico: Unions Ask for Injunctions on Labor Reform Required by USMCA

What Happened: Mexican labor unions have requested injunctions in Mexican federal court against labor reform tied to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), El Economista reported June 23. The labor unions, all organized under the umbrella of the Mexican Laborers' Confederation (CTM), argue the labor reform's stipulation that each labor organization adopt direct, secret votes for the election of new leaders harms them. 

Why it Matters: A lower court ruling temporarily suspending the unions' obligations under the labor reform would send the message that Mexico isn't serious about implementing the requirements of USMCA. In Mexico, such a ruling could cause a snowball effect, in which unions enter a de facto state of noncompliance with USMCA's labor reform. If USMCA were still pending in the United States and a Mexican injunction were awarded to a CTM-sponsored union, House Democrats might see this as a sign that labor rights in Mexico won't significantly improve — making the issue yet another sticking point for USMCA. 

Background/Context: Mexico's Congress approved labor reform agreed upon with the United States and Canada in negotiations over USMCA in 2017 and 2018. The goal is to slowly eliminate some of the labor practices — such as low wages and evading payment of benefits — that afford Mexico unfair advantages when competing against U.S. and Canadian labor.

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