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The challenges of labor justice

The Legislative Power is running out of time to pass the regulations of the Federal Labor Law reform
15/02/2018
08:40
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Running out of time, the Legislative Power has less than two weeks to pass the regulations of the Federal Labor Law reform, published in the Official Gazette in February 2017, which established a term of one year for this purpose.

This change assumes a new model for labor dispute resolution. The Conciliation and Arbitration Boards – thus far dependent on the local and federal Executive Branches – will disappear to make way for labor courts part of the Judiciary Branch. There will also be conciliation centers, which will become the first filter to avoid disputes from reaching the courtrooms.

The characteristic that has dominated in the conciliation boards throughout a century of history has been its ineffectiveness. In February last year, numbers from the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board showed that 300,000 files were pending a resolution, and each year, on average, 83,000 workers file a lawsuit against their employers. Taking employers to court thus became a test of endurance, in addition to a journey across offices and hearings.

Experts on labor law have explained in these pages that after a trial concludes, it can take years before the resolution is adopted – whether it is the reinstatement of the employee or the payment of the employee's wages. Bureaucracy and lethargy are usually against the employee, while the other party blames lack of a budget for the origin of delays – delays which also affect employers.

It's clear we have an abnormal situation which is hindering the swift execution of justice and that this requires immediate attention.

The Judiciary Branch is also about to face a huge challenge when the country is just finishing the transition to oral trials.

Achieving a fair labor environment that can provide certainty to both, the employee and the employer, can even become a boost for productivity and the arrival of investment.

For these reasons, the document submitted by the legislators must be a way to resolve labor disputes, without violating the rights of the employee. They have in their hands the legal framework which will ensure the dispute resolution mechanisms lives up to expectations.

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