Several months ago, President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed to amend the Mexican Constitution in order to modify the labor process. The Senate of the Republic approved the amendment on October 13, 2016. The goal of this amendment is to bring legal certainty to the labor process and create new labor courts, but still, the Mexican Labor Law will need to be amended.

The amendment provides the following:

  • The local and federal labor boards would be transformed into labor courts or labor tribunals.
  • The amendment would make a conciliatory proceeding an obligatory prejudicial stage of the jurisdictional process.
  • The change would create conciliatory ministries (decentralized authorities/organizations) with sole autonomy to preside over conciliatory proceedings.
  • These integrated, decentralized organizations would also serve as a registry for collective bargaining agreements and union organizations.
  • The labor boards (federal and local) would have to transfer all documents, litigation files, and processes to the new incorporated judicial labor courts or Labor Instances.
  • This judicial professionalization and structure modification will require sufficient resources.
  • The amendment considers the formal process and requirements to designate the head of the decentralized organization.
  • This amendment enhances employees’ rights to access labor justice, given that labor courts are subject to corruption.

Finally, the Senate will have provide the amendment to the 32 local legislatures for their approval (which requires approval by the majority of their quorum) and subsequently to the Chamber of Deputies (requiring approval of two thirds of their quorum). As such, the amendment shall not be currently determined as official. Amendments to the Mexican Labor Law and to the Organic Law of the Federal Judiciary are also expected.