Proyecto de Reforma Laboral PRI-AN

Proyecto de Reforma Laboral PRI-AN
Coopela o Cuello. (Perujo)

viernes, 14 de septiembre de 2012

Carta del Sindicato de Electrisistas de Estados Unidos a Coordinadores parlamentarios de México en referencia a la Iniciativa Calderón

Parliamentary Coordinador for the Partido Revolucionario Institucional
Parliamentary Coordinador for Revolución Democrática
Parliamentary Coordinador for the Partido Acción Nacional
Parliamentary Coordinador for the Partido del Trabajo
Parliamentary Coordinador for the Partido Nueva Alianza
Parliamentary Coordinador for the Partido Verde Ecologista de México
Parliamentary Coordinador for the Partido Movimiento Ciudadano
Dear Parliamentary Coordinators of the Mexican Congress,
We are writing to you on behalf of the tens of thousands of members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) throughout the United States to express our grave concern about the recent announcement by out-going president Felipe Calderón that he has designated an extremely regressive labor law reform proposal for your consideration under a new “preferential” fast track process (which itself may be improper).
Provisions of this proposed legislation violate the requirements of International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, the mandate in Article 2 of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) that the parties “provide for high labor standards... and shall continue to strive to improve those standards,” as well as many other international covenants protecting freedom of association:

1.         American Convention on Human Rights: Article 16 
2.         Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Articles 20 and 23
3.         International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Article 8
4.         International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Article 22
5.         Declaration of Lima.  Interamerican Democratic Charter: Article 10
The proposed law reform would result in a drastic decline in current worker rights and protections. It would cheapen the cost of labor while provide further cover and protection for the system of corporativist control that is the heart and sustenance of the employer protection contract system.  It would destroy the independent trade union movement in Mexico by effectively eliminating the already difficult openings through which groups of workers can obtain representation by the union of their choice.
Among other things, the law would violate  rights of freedom of association by making the procedural requirements for obtaining a representation hearing or exercising the right to strike so onerous that they effectively negate such rights.  For example, workers seeking to change from a corrupt to a democratic union would have to file documents that include their names and a certification from the employer regarding their status as employees. Given the routine practice, reflected in “exclusion clauses,” of firing any worker who seeks to form an independent or democratic union, this is tantamount to guaranteeing the discharge of such workers prior to an election, with obvious consequences. 
Another purportedly “procedural” requirement mandates that workers obtain a certification from the labor board in order to petition for an election.  Since the labor boards in Mexico are tripartite and virtually always include representatives of the confederation to which the incumbent belongs, it is unthinkable that such permission would actually be granted.
A final requirement worth noting is that once an election petition has been filed, no other proceeding can take place until at least a year has elapsed. While such a bar may serve a useful purpose in some countries, in Mexico it is already standard practice for corrupt unions to file multiple petitions to delay election proceedings to discourage provide time for the discharge and intimidation of workers in order to prevent a victory by an independent union. This proposed provision provides a perfect opening for further collusion among corrupt unions through the filing of successive petitions, precluding democratic unions from ever obtaining an election.
The new proposals would also severely undercut job security by removing existing protections for workers that limit sub-contracting, temporary and short term contracts. In addition, they would undercut worker protections against unjustified discharge, limiting back pay to one year and further penalizing workers for delays in legal proceedings for reinstatement that are beyond their control. It has been estimated that the length of such proceedings average one year.  


The renewed attempt to force approval of this recycled proposal is particularly egregious when viewed in context. Anti-union policies have escalated in Mexico as both companies and the various levels of governments utilize corporativist trade unionism as a battering ram against democratic trade unions, using violence and intimidation to impede the free exercise of trade union association, imposing protection contracts on behalf of employers, and blatantly disregarding the recent recommendations of the International Labor Organization.


It has been estimated that some 90% of union contracts in Mexico are protection contracts, where an employer selects the union that it prefers and workers have no choice. The widespread use of such contracts and their violation of fundamental union rights was raised by IndustriALL, then International Metalworkers’ Federation, in complaint no. 2694 submitted to the ILO in 2009.


Recommendations put forward by the Committee on Freedom of Association and approved by the ILO’s Governing Body in the spring of 2011 called on the Mexican government to examine the issue of Protection Contracts. Specifically, the ILO called on Mexico to investigate and report back to the Committee regarding:  “(1) the questions relating to the trade union security clauses, “exclusion clauses”, which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and which may give rise to the kind of situations contemplated in the complaint; (2) questions relating to the minimum representativeness of trade unions in order to bargain collectively; and (3) the alleged lack of impartiality of the conciliation and arbitration boards (JCAs) and the allegedly excessive length of their proceedings.”


The Committee stated that it “firmly expects that a dialogue will take place with the most representative national workers’ and employers’ organizations, as well as the six organizations that are complainants in this case or that have supported it.” It also stated clearly that it “trusts that legislative and other measures will be taken in the near future to strengthen protection against anti-trade union practices in breach of collective bargaining principles.”


Instead of social dialog, the executive branch of the Mexican government has intensified its crack down on independent unions and Freedom of Association. While cases are legion, the most glaring example is this recent proposal for labor law reform that would actually make the already dire situation faced by Mexican workers far worse. 


The Initiative of Felipe Calderón, far from encouraging job creation and the stimulation of the internal market, will cause the instability of existing jobs and the generation of even more precarious work than what already exists in the informal sector in Mexico.

We hope that these matters will be considered when analyzing this initiative and that a national debate can be initiated in which the opinions of workers, intellectuals who specialize in economic and labor matters, as well as various labor currents will be taken into account.




Bruce J. Klipple                      Andrew Dinkelaker                            Robert B. Kingsley    

President                                 Secretary- Treasurer                            Director of Organization



cc:        Hilda Soliz

            Carol Pier

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