Mexico's Official Gazette of the Federation (known as the Diario Oficial de la Federación or DOF) recently announced a number of changes with a decree that reformed and added several dispositions of Articles 107 and 123 of the Mexican Federal Constitution. As part of a reform of the Labor Justice System, employees bringing claims against their employers will need to submit to compulsory prejudicial conciliation before the commencement of a labor trial.
The reform also creates local conciliation centers and a new federal decentralized agency, un Organismo Descentralizado, which will conduct the referred prejudicial conciliation. Additionally, the decentralized agency will administer union and collective bargaining matters. Local and federal Conciliation and Arbitration Labor Boards will disappear and instead local and federal labor courts will be created to handle labor justice.
The goal of the reform is to transform the labor justice system in Mexico, consolidate autonomy of the labor justice system, promote efficiency in the administration of justice, and increase labor productivity. Below are some important aspects of the reform:
- The reform eliminates the local and federal Conciliation and Arbitration Labor Boards (las Juntas Locales y Federales de Conciliación y Arbitraje) as tripartite labor justice administration organs and creates local and federal labor courts dependent on the federation's judicial branch or of the power of the states of the Mexican Republic.
- The reform creates a pre-judicial conciliatory stage. Employees and employers in conflict will be required to attend this stage of the proceedings before the commencement of a labor trial that would be processed before the courts.
- At the local level, specialized and impartial conciliation centers (Centros de Conciliación) will be established in the states of the Mexican Republic, which will handle the compulsory pre-judicial conciliatory stage.
The reform, along with its modifications, will be effective on the day after it is published in the DOF. Here are some of the steps that must be taken to transition to the new justice system:
- The Mexican Congress and the legislatures of the states of the Mexican Republic must make the necessary changes to local and federal legal bodies within one year of the reform's effective date.
- Until the courts, conciliation centers, and decentralized agency become operational, the labor boards and, as applicable, the Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare or the local labor authorities will continue to process the conflicts arising between employees and employers, as well as any other issues related to the registration of collective bargaining agreements and unionized organizations.
- All matters pending at the time the activities of the courts, conciliation centers, and/or decentralized agency begin will be solved in accordance with the legal dispositions in effect at the time of the matter's commencement.
For more on this topic, see our recent article, " Mexico Finalizes Significant Changes to Its Labor Justice System."
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