The reformed labor law weakens workers’ bargaining power in the following ways:
- Permits temporary and seasonal employment.
- Permits pay by the hour at the minimum wage or better.
- Permits probationary periods of 30 days for workers .
- Permits up to 180 days probationary period for management hired under a sub-contract.
- Permits a 30-day preliminary training contract.
- Permits subcontracting under specific conditions .
- Establishes joint committees for productivity and training.
- Limits back pay claims to 12 months.
- Although greatly outweighed by its negative aspects, the reform includes some positive changes:
- Prohibits discrimination based on national or ethnic origin, sex, age, health, disability, religion, migratory status, sexual orientation, or civil status.
- Establishes prohibitions against sexual harassment and bullying.
- Provides greater leave flexibility for working mothers, shorter shifts for nursing mothers, and establishes a five-day paternity leave.
- Requires employers of over 50 employees to make workplaces accessible to the disabled.
- Eliminates the exclusion clause that required employers to fire workers excluded by the union.
- Requires labor boards to publish collective bargaining agreements and to make them available to the public.
Robin Alexander is Director of International Affairs for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Dan La Botz is a teacher, writer, and activist. He is the editor of Mexican Labor News and Analysis.
Read the rest of NACLA's 2014 Spring issue: "Mexico: The State Against the Working Class"