Norma Lucía Piña, President of the Federal Judiciary Council (CJF) and of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), stated that the constitutional reform in labor matters moved towards a new way of analyzing the relationship between workers, employers and unions, which has implied radical transformations in the administration of justice by the Federal Judicial Branch (PJF) and local judicial bodies.

In this sense, the Minister assured that in order to achieve the proper functioning of the labor justice system, the professionalization and constant training of those who work in the PJF is essential.

Likewise, she asserted that it is necessary to concretize the stages for the implementation of the reform, betting on more jurisdictional bodies, judges, operative personnel, experts and legal advisors that allow the proper functioning of the labor justice system.

He emphasized that the reform established conciliation as a mandatory pre-judicial administrative instance and that the Mexican State, being part of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC), is obliged to guarantee access to all persons, for the application of labor laws and to provide the necessary resources to continue advancing in the international commitments acquired in this matter.

It is important to highlight that, in the new justice system, it was proposed to work in two stages -one of conciliation, the other of trial- with the objective of reducing the time to resolve conflicts to a maximum of eight months. The first stage of conciliation is a pre-judicial requirement and has a limit of 45 days. The second stage will take place when the conciliation fails and the “No Conciliation” act is issued; subsequently, the worker may go before the competent Federal or Local Court, which is supposed to resolve the dispute within a term not exceeding six months.

Likewise, it is pertinent to point out that, according to figures of the current administration, the new Labor Justice model has allowed four out of every five labor conflicts to be resolved through Conciliation, and that of these 78% are concluded within 25 days after the request is made before the Federal Center of Conciliation and Labor Registry. In practice, we can see that the conciliations are inclined to favor the workers, forgetting the workers’ interests.

For his part, Héctor Arturo Mercado López, Magistrate of the First Collegiate Tribunal in Labor Matters of Mexico City, considered that the current reform “was made by forced marches”, and affirmed that the country’s labor justice system must be evaluated.

In the face of the polarized opinions generated by the reform to the new labor justice system, the challenges are still present, since there are many companies and unions that are still not clear about the new labor regulations, since it implies not only changing rules and processes, but also a true transformation of the labor culture where respect for the human rights of the parties and a healthy balance between the factors of production prevail.

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Esther Uribe Soria