Unions are using calls to strike to obtain legitimation: experts

In the Monthly Report on the behavior of the Economy, the STPS [Department of Labor and Social Welfare] and the National Commission on Minimum Wages, informed that the unions have conducted revisions in which 87,602 workers have been involved in collective bargaining negotiations in the Federal jurisdiction during August of 2023: 11.2% work in public companies and 88.8% in private companies.

Note published on October 2 in El EconomistaEmpresas [Companies] Section by María del Pilar Martínez.

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In the month of August an increase of over 300% in calls to strike was registered, in comparison with the same period in 2022, of these calls, 33 were caused by the revision of the collective bargaining agreement, 79 were caused by the revision of salaries, four because of the signature of the collective bargaining agreement and eight because of violations to the collective bargaining agreement.

While none of these calls has resulted in a strike breaking out, seven strikes have been registered in 2023, six of which are still in progress. The reasons why these strikes have broken out are: two were caused by the revision of the collective bargaining agreement, one was caused by the revision of salaries, and one was caused by violations to the industry-wide labor agreement. There are currently 12 strikes in progress, eight of them started between 2020 and 2023.

In this regard, Óscar de la Vega, founding partner of the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Law Firm said that “one of the key pillars of the Labor Reform of 2019 rests on the clauses of union democracy, that is, the new collective bargaining agreements and the comprehensive covenants for the revision of the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CCTs) must be approved by the majority of the workers of the work center through the personal, free, secret, and direct vote of these workers. This new condition puts the communication abilities both of the unions and of the companies with their workers to the test, in a still unclear legal framework.”

“The workers that are participating also lack experience in these consultation processes and, often, there is little or no information in regard to the negotiation processes and the excitement of an ‘adventure’ will surely lead to several moves to strike in the near future.”

De la Vega emphasized that “the legal framework of the strike is ‘rusty’, given that in order for the employer to resort to arbitration for the imputability of the strike, 60 days of the strike must have elapsed before the employer can initiate the process, a situation that, by itself, places the company at great risk.”

Germán de la Garza de Vecchi, Managing partner at Fisher & Phillips, said that “with the labor reform, we are seeing an increased participation of more organizations that conduct their annual salary reviews; but, when they use the call to strike, we can see that they do this just to justify their existence, specially by showing that they are real unions. This is how they use these calls to strike as a means of public legitimation; if they truly had a conflict, more strikes would take place.”

In the Monthly Report on the behavior of the Economy, the Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) and the National Commission on Minimum Wages, informed that the unions have conducted revisions in which 87,602 workers have been involved in collective bargaining negotiations in the Federal jurisdiction during August of 2023: 11.2% work in public companies and 88.8%  in private companies.

In regard to what the union organizations achieved in their negotiations, it notes the six organizations that achieved increases in real terms. Organizations of the Labor Congress with 5.9%; the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CROC) with 3.9%; the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) and the National Autonomous Unions and the Autonomous Union Associations  (SNA and ASA) with 3.5% each; the Independents of the Labor Congress (C.T) with 3.1% and the Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers (CROM) with 2.9 percent.

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