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1 Feb 2021

Mexico: US Congress' Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board releases report on Mexican labour reform implementation, including failure to ensure workers' rights; USW concurred on recommendations

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Since May 2019, Mexico has been implementing its labour reform. According to the government, the measures were designed aiming to eliminate Mexican employers’ reliance on “protection contracts”. On 15th December 2020, the Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board submitted an Interim Report to the Interagency Labor Committee (ILC) and to the United States Congress, pursuant to Section 734 of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, P.L. 116-113 (Jan. 29, 2020).

The report reveals that there are issues affecting the enforcement and the capacity building activities needed to support the implementation of Mexico’s labor reform. The document also highlights that "many of the changes promised to improve the lives of workers, in terms of union democracy, freedom of association and collective bargaining, remain to be implemented." The Board proposed that the United States fund the training through grants to various parties that will encourage cross-border cooperation between unions. The board also drafted some recommendations, namely ending violence against workers; promoting transparency; focusing the implementation on USMCA priority sectors; reforming the legitimization process; strengthening labor inspection; increasing and focusing USG funding to build worker capacity, and holding employers accountable.