The union outlook is reconfigured after the legitimation of agreements

The demand for certificates of representativeness has doubled in the last year, which speaks of unions that want to take the place of those that were displaced after their instruments of representativeness were not legitimized.

Note published on September 17 in El EconomistaEmpresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.

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It is not only that the labor map of the country changed, it became a blank canvas in which a series of events are starting to be observed, such as the growth of 110% in the demand for Certificates of Representativeness by union organizations that allow them to demand certification for managing the collective bargaining agreement before a company.

This is revealed in the Labor Intelligence report issued by the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas labor Law Firm on a monthly basis, which notes that the information issued by the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration (CFCRL) estimates that nearly 46,477 consultations for the legitimation of collective bargaining agreements were conducted, with the participation of 6,459,269  workers, with a result of 30,421 legitimized collective bargaining agreements, “which means that close to 80% of all collective bargaining agreements disappeared with the end of the legitimation period”, explained Blanya Correal, international consultant associated with D&M.

In that sense, Correal explained that only 16% of formal workers in Mexico have union representation, “this leaves the field open to the action of the unions, which is reflected in a growth of 110% in certificates of representativeness.”

In 2021, there were 628 Certificates of Representativeness; 1,835 in 2022; and there are 2,964 so far this year.

Likewise, she informed that the Labor Intelligence report explains that “this open field was generated due to the low percentage of legitimation; therefore, collective organizations are using this to their advantage to become the ones that represent the workers.” The formal commerce, manufacturing, construction, and restaurant sectors are among the ones with the greatest union activity.

She added that “it is important to recall that the generation of a Certificate of Representativeness requires the actual support of a minimum of 30% of the workers to be covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement; in this sense, we are seeing very diligent action by the authority because, is compliance with the requirements that must be presented by the unions being truly being monitored?

On the other hand, the Labor Intelligence report explains that since 2021, the year in which the implementation of the Labor Reform started, an increase in union activity has been registered at the Bajío region and on the Northern border of the country, given that the prioritary industries of the USMCA Trade Agreement are located in those areas.

In this regard, Correal pointed out “in 2023 we saw not only a significant concentration in the areas in which the activity is mainly the manufacture of auto-parts and car assembly, but also maquila industry plants, prioritary sectors within the framework of the USMCA; in other words, the industries that are being most closely watched by the trade agreement are the ones that are now the most active in regard to the entry of new unions, which entails the need for greater preparation in the labor, legal and human resources areas for the management of these new challenges.”

In the face of this, businessmen have expressed their concern about the implementation of Rapid Response Labor Mechanisms and, therefore, they have started a series of actions aimed at guaranteeing democracy and union freedom, such as the creation and implementation of policies in labor relationship matters, as well as the use of training in labor matters, such as the LBS.

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