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Mexico: Protests against labour law reform

28 September 2012
Mexican workers and their unions are mobilizing as politicians debate the extremely anti-worker legislation submitted by outgoing president Felipe Calderón.

Unions are worried over the proposed reforms to the labour law that stands to curtail all core labour and trade union rights of Mexico’s workers.

Workers in Mexico already face considerable obstacles to organizing and operating independent trade unions, as anti-union employers exploit a system of protection contracts with impunity from complicit authorities. The new law further threatens job security.

Trade unions in Mexico have been in the street to show their opposition to the proposed legislation that threatens their last remaining rights. On September 22, workers blocked the main “Sol” highway between Mexico City and Cuernavaca for three hours, causing enormous traffic queues in both directions.

The proposed changes will legalise subcontracting without creating a regulatory mechanism to ensure accountability of companies for the respect of labour rights through their production chains. Under the new law, workers could be hired without job security on six-month probation contracts or even hired by the hour. The proposed legislation would also weaken the right to strike, widen the abuse of protection contracts used by employers to bypass the legitimate trade unions representing its employees, and interfere with union autonomy.


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