Inspections and monitoring of the labor reform, challenges in the STPS

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the appointment of Luisa María Alcalde Luján as Secretary of the Interior, replacing Adán Augusto López.

Note published on June 19 in El EconomistaEmpresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.

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While the results presented by the former Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare, Luisa María Alcalde Luján, are “positive” and range from the implementation of the most important labor reform in the history of the work arena, the increase to the minimum wage and the Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro [Young People Building the Future] program, there are also pending issues that must be reviewed, labor specialists agreed.

“The first thing that is needed in the Department of Labor is that regulations regarding strikes are modernized, with the objective of establishing efficient legal mechanisms deriving from the clauses of union democracy. Companies are facing processes of this nature and, today, the legal mechanism is rusty, the company cannot resort to arbitration until the strike has been in place for 60 days”, explained Óscar de la Vega, partner at the De la Vega & Martinez Rojas Firm.

Likewise, he pointed out that the second important aspect that must be dealt with by whoever fills the position at the Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) is to continue with the implementation of the labor reform.

“Monitoring the application of these clauses of union democracy, with significant training in production sectors, both among companies and unions and workers, taking into account that the main employers in this country are micro and small companies”, he pointed out.

An aspect that has been set aside, said De la Vega, has been the issue of inspection and, therefore, it must be strengthened and professionalized, particularly in matters relating to subcontracting (outsourcing), as there is little clarity in certain sectors about what can and cannot be subcontracted.

The foregoing goes hand in hand with a greater clarity in the implementation of the caps on Employee Participation in Company Profits (PTU) matters, “it turns out that there has been little clarity since the reform of 2021 and, therefore, a greater legal certainty is required by the parties.

Meanwhile, the president of the Mexican Association of Human Capital Companies (AMECH), Héctor Márquez Pitol, maintained that a great task that must be addressed by the STPS is to stop the growth of employment informality in the country.

More than half of the workers in Mexico are in the informal sector, where they have no social benefits and are far from having a decent job, the director said.

“At the AMECH, we hope to continue working with whoever takes the leadership of this department, which has gone through numerous changes, to focus in promoting a single objective, which is fighting informality”, he explained.

On Monday morning, president Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the appointment of Luisa María Alcalde Luján as Secretary of the Interior, almost completing the reconfiguration of his cabinet after the resignation of several of its members that seek to be the Morena candidate in the 2024 presidential elections,

The official left the Department of Labor and Social Welfare to take the position vacated last week by Adán Augusto López to participate in the internal contest of the National Regeneration Movement, which is the same thing that the now former head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, replaced by Alicia Bárcena, did a few days ago.

“She is young, it is very important to think about the generational change-over, giving the young opportunities”, said president Andrés Manuel López Obrador in his daily press conference, when announcing the appointment.  López Obrador did not reveal who will substitute 35-year-old Alcalde at the helm of the STPS.

Pending in the STPS for 2023:

  • The completion of Legitimations of Collective Bargaining Agreements (the deadline is July 31)
  • The revision of strikes in the LFT [Federal Labor Law]; it is now out of phase with the labor reform of 2019
  • Criteria for the payment and caps for PTU
  • Strengthening labor inspections
  • Attending labor complaints under the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.

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