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NAFTA talks will raise Mexican labour reform pressure

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Subject

Mexico's trade unions.

Significance

On September 11, the head of Mexico’s main business lobby Coparmex called on Congress to advance several pending issues relating to labour reform before the 2018 elections, including legislation on labour relations, union regulation and collective bargaining contracts. The call comes as the government attempts to resist pressure from Washington and Ottawa to address labour disparities as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.

Impacts

  • Government and business will oppose any NAFTA alterations that might harm Mexico’s comparative advantages.
  • Union leaders will resist strengthening the right to free association, which would allow workers to opt for alternative unions.
  • The Confederation of Workers of Mexico will put pressure on its more than 11,000 affiliated unions to vote for the PRI in 2018.
  • The independent National Union of Workers will call on affiliates to support leftist options.
  • Discontent has increased among unionised workers, who will not necessarily vote along the same lines as the leaders.
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