Unionized life and collective bargaining is a necessary aspect of business in Mexico and thereafter must be analyzed, understood and dealt with accordingly. The following is a brief reminder of the 4 biggest fallacies and misconceptions regarding worker unions, and how things should, or actually, could work:
a) Worker unions only exist to fight injustice and abuse generated by employers to employees.
b) Union presence in a company is a synonym of extortion.
c) Unions only make things worse for employers.
d) Employers should avoid the presence of unions at all costs.
Unionized life in Mexico was indeed born in post-revolutionary Mexico (the 1900´s) when serious offenses, abuse, and exploitation of workers undeniably occurred. Historically as Karl Marx stated, there has been a differentiating factor in social classes where undeniably the working class has been battered and stripped of irrefutable human rights. Mexican Federal Labor Law goes as far as to recognize that employer-employee relationships are imbalanced, and thereafter workers tend to be favored over organizations. Indeed, unions grew due to social injustices, nevertheless, over a century has gone by, times have dramatically changed and so must our notions of reality. Unions do not only exist to fight injustice but moreover to guarantee production, security, stability, and growth.
Karl Marx stated that the historical circumstances where only a stepping stone in the necessary progression and transformation of social classes and social inequality towards a stable and favorable collective future. For Marx, the future was distant but a new differentiating factor (the massive availability of technology) has brought about actual equality in a world where the largest empires are not steel or oil companies but tech, manufacturing, and modern industries. In a world where the internet is available to everyone regardless of social abode, one thing remains true while another has dramatically changed:
Unions exist to protect and shall protect the interest of the working class, nevertheless, the relationship that is binding between employers and unions is as symbiotic as has ever been.
The premise that the working class/unions and employers are antagonistic is outdated, harmful and costly. The existence of any union is indeed predicated upon an employment relationship but the longevity of the union, the employer and all the employees lies rightfully so in the capacity to grow together, create and negotiate win-win solutions for each other.
The inescapable passing of time and progress has brought about the pressing need to be able to negotiate knowing that we not only need each other, but moreover, are dependent on one another.
Indeed, there is an undeniable fact: union life in Mexico, has had characteristics that can and should be criticized. There is no shame in admitting that there has been an infinite amount of wrongdoings, extortion, and injustices, same goes for employers. Nevertheless, in the XXIst Century, companies and legal advisors have the responsibility to recognize that there is no growth except for mutual growth. The tools for social evolution will not be handed down by politicians or legal bills but moreover by the capacity that we may have as employers and employees to recognize the need for each other and negotiate our own inner rules and regulations to guarantee success. Alongside all wrongdoings, as labor and employment advisors we have seen and accomplished much success in the collective world and invite everyone to rethink strategies, negotiations and Human Resource metrics in order to grow together.
Employers should not avoid unions, they should negotiate with the best. The ones that are willing to guarantee success and security for all and that recognize the current noticeable symbiosis as opposed to the outdated notions of resentment and rivalry.