On January 6, 2019, Mexico’s federal congress enacted a law detailing how it will create and regulate a new Federal Mediation and Labor Registry Center (the “Federal Center”).The Federal Center is expected to begin operations during the fourth quarter of 2020. The main purpose of the Federal Center is to oversee mediation in federal labor cases involving individual workers who file claims against their employers, as well as to oversee collective bargaining issues. Additionally, the Federal Center is tasked with the following matters:
- Keeping registration records of unions, collective bargaining agreements and internal work rules;
- Assisting unions in the voting process to elect union officials;
- Sending voting notifications and organizing the voting process to approve union contracts;
- Issuing certificates of representation, which will now be required of unions to mandate the execution of union contracts;
- Reviewing voting results to verify that a majority of workers approve collective bargaining agreements, while monitoring voting procedures to ensure that votes are submitted directly, freely and in secret;
- Verifying that workers are familiar with the collective bargaining agreements signed by their union;
- Providing information and documentation related to the registration of collective bargaining agreements, wage schedules, names of union members, and any information they possess, when requested by a labor court judge;
- Making information on unions and their leadership known to the public and providing copies of their records to those who request such;
- Assessing applicable fines for not complying with the provisions set forth in the Mexican Federal Labor Law.
The Federal Center will be headquartered in Mexico City, with satellite offices established throughout Mexico’s 32 states. By instituting the Federal Center, the government seeks to resolve more labor disputes through mediation, thereby reducing the number of labor lawsuits.In addition to these purposes, the government intends to achieve greater efficiency and better control of unions and collective bargaining agreements by comprehensively regulating collective bargaining agreements, all while protecting workers’ rights to free union association.As the date approaches for the Federal Center to begin operations, it is important for employers to understand and comply with the new obligations and procedures to register and renew collective bargaining agreements, as well as with the registration and updating of internal work rules.