The ITUC affiliates in Mexico are the Confederación de Trabajadores de México (CTM), the Confederación Revolucionaria de Obreros y Campesinos (CROC), the Consejo Nacional de los Trabajadores (CNT) and the Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (UNT).
Freedom of association / Right to organize
Barriers to the establishment of organizations:
- 'Prior authorisation or approval by authorities required for the establishment of a union'
- To obtain legal status unions must be listed in the Register of Associations, an office of the Labour and Social Protection Secretariat. The authorities may decline to "take note" of a request if they consider that the union has breached or does not meet the requirements established in the Federal Labour Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo). That judgement involves an examination of trade union procedures. Although it is possible to appeal against an inspector's report, there is no legal recourse for changing it or requiring that a new inspection be carried out. An unregistered union cannot call a strike or participate in collective agreements and is excluded from all tripartite committees.
Restrictions on workers' right to form and join organizations of their own choosing:
- Single trade union system imposed by law and/or a system banning or limiting organising at a certain level (enterprise, industry and/or sector, regional and/or territorial, national)
- The law imposes a trade union monopoly on State employees, prohibiting the coexistence of two or more unions in the same State body. Workers are obliged to join unions affiliated to the public service union, the FSTSE (Federación de Sindicatos de Trabajadores al Servicio del Estado). The law also imposes a trade union monopoly on bank workers, who may only belong to the National Federation of Banking Unions.
- Restrictions on workers' right to join the trade union of their choosing imposed by law (i.e. obligation to join a trade union of a certain level e.g. enterprise, industry and/or sector, regional and /or territorial national)
- State employees may not leave their union (based on an exclusion clause whereby they lose their job if they leave the union).
Restrictions on trade unions' right to organize their administration:
- Restrictions on the right to elect representatives and self-administer in full freedom
- Foreigners may not become members of trade union executive bodies. By law, the leaders of public sector trade unions cannot stand for re-election. However, the Government maintains that the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Tribunal applies a jurisprudential ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Justice, which establishes that section 75 of the Federal Act on State Employees which prohibits the re-election of trade union leaders is in breach of freedom of association laid down in article 123 of the Constitution and that the Court recognises re-election where it is allowed by the statutes of the trade union.
Right to strike
Barriers to lawful strike actions:
- Obligation to observe an excessive quorum or to obtain an excessive majority in a ballot to call a strike
- In the civil service, the law provides that in order to call a strike, two-thirds of the workers in the public body concerned must be in favour.
Undue interference by authorities or employers during the course of a strike:
- Forcible requisitioning of workers strikers (apart from cases in public essential services)
- Various laws on public services make provision for the requisitioning of staff where the national economy could be affected.
Limitations or ban on strikes in certain sectors:
- Undue restrictions for "public servants"
- State employees only have the right to strike in cases where their rights are violated generally and systematically.
- Unreasonable or discretionary (i.e. without negotiation with social partners or absence of an independent authority in the event of disagreement) determination of the extent of the "minimum service" to be guaranteed during strikes in public services
- In the banking sector, the "National Banking Commission shall ensure that ... during the strike as many offices as are indispensible shall remain open and as many workers as are strictly necessary to perform the functions shall continue to work". The ILO observes in this connection that the National Banking Commission is not tripartite and that workers' organisations should be able to take part, should they so wish, in determining the minimum service to be maintained in the event of a strike, along with employers and the public authorities.
Freedom of association / Right to organize
Barriers to the establishment of organizations:
In November 2013, gasoline attendants at two Mexico City gas stations initiated a strike
The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.
See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike against the owner, Operadora Gasoil S.A. de C.V. The union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Casas Comerciales, Oficinas y Expendios, Similares y Conexos del Distrito Federal (STRACC), explained that the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.
See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike followed the failure to reach an agreement with the company. The company had refused to recognise the union at a gas station, firing seven workers and engaging in a variety of other practices that violate labour rights and freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.
See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework , according to the union.
Trade union discrimination:
An independent investigation of the Finnish auto parts company PKC in Mexico released in June 2013 found that PKC imposed a company union
Can be used to describe either an enterprise union or a yellow union.
without the knowledge of its workers, harassed and threatened workers who attempted to join the independent Mexican Mine and Metalworkers’ union, manipulated an election to defeat the Mineworkers, and fired independent union
A trade union that is not affiliated to a national union. Can also be a union that is not dominated by an employer.
See yellow union
On 7 May 2013, Honda Mexico breached a workplace agreement and dismissed five workers in a complicit campaign by the company and local protection union, SETEAMI, to intimidate the workforce. All of them were members of the committee that negotiated a settlement after 90 per cent of the workers showed their dissatisfaction with the company’s refusal to share its profits in a work-stoppage on 16-18 April.
The case of the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME) workers is still unresolved. In 2009, the Fuerza y Luz company was closed down arbitrarily and without consultation. This is considered as an open attack on one of the most important unions in Mexico. The SME has fought to get those workers reinstated ever since. In January 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no obligation to re-employ the dismissed workers.
Two peasant leaders, Juan Lucena Ríos and José Luis Sotelo Martínez, from the community of Paraíso, a town of 6,000, were assassinated on November 16 in downtown Atoyac de Álvarez in the Costa Grande region of Guerrero as they were leading a protest by coffee workers. This came a day after they had announced that they were creating a community policing organisation in the town.
Numerous independent trade unions suffered violent attacks, intimidation and the repression of trade union rights during 2010, such as the mine, metal and allied workers’ union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos y Similares de la República Méxicana (SNTMMSRM), the electricians’ union Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME), the union representing professional and technical workers at the state oil company PEMEX, the Unión Nacional de Técnicos y Profesionistas Petroleros (UNTyPP), the tire workers’ union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de General Tire de México (SNTGTM), the union representing university staff at the UACM, the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (SUTUACM), the telephone workers’ union Sindicato de Telefonistas de la República Mexicana (STRM), the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) and as many as 30 other organisations affiliated to the Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (UNT).
Employers, backed by the government, relentlessly devise and perfect mechanisms to suppress trade union rights. The aim of these widespread violations is to stop workers from organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. and to crush or weaken their unions. The result is the proliferation of “protection contracts”, repression, threats, and the hiring of thugs to attack organised workers.
Right to collective bargaining
Barriers to the recognition of collective bargaining agents:
Governmental agencies such as the Federal Electoral Institute and other public bodies systematically refuse to recognise unions.
The labour authorities do not fulfil their obligations in terms of workplace labour inspections. The most vulnerable workers include women and children, many of whom work in the informal economy, with no rights.
According to local conciliation
An attempt by a neutral third party, a conciliator, to aid the settling of an industrial dispute by improving communications, offering advice and interpreting issues to bring the disputing parties to a point where they can reconcile their differences. The conciliator does not take as active a role as a mediator or an arbitrator.
See arbitration, mediation and arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.
See conciliation, mediation boards, the principal complaints against enterprises are about the failure to register workers with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), excessively long working hours, the non-payment of overtime, transfers to workplaces in remote locations, the docking of wages and no recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. of the right to organise.
Undermining of the recourse to collective bargaining and his effectiveness:
90 per cent of collective agreements are signed by protection-contract unions established by employers and corrupt organisations with the aim of preventing bargaining in good faith.
One of the most serious violations occurred with the telecommunications company Atento Servicios concerning a contractual entitlement trial filed by the Sindicato de Telefonistas de la República Mexicana in order to invalidate the protection contracts. The trial was reportedly rigged.