Legitimation of Collective Bargaining Agreements in Mexico: What Employers Need to Know Now
On July 31, 2019, Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (Secretaria del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS)) published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación, or DOF) the protocol for the legitimation of a currently existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in compliance with Transitory Article Eleven of the official decree published in the DOF on May 1, 2019. The objective of the legitimation process is to provide certainty to unionized employees, making sure they know the terms of the applicable CBA and their union.
If a union does not perform the legitimation of the existing CBA, according to the aforementioned protocol before May 1, 2023, the CBA will be terminated.
The legitimation process must be done according to the following process:
The union files a digital petition to the STPS, enabling the union to decide whether to require assistance from the labor authority or use a notary public. The STPS will require specific information of the union, the employer, and the CBA that was filed by the parties before the Labor Board.
Once the petition is electronically filed, the union will inform the employer regarding the specifics of the date upon which the consultation will take place.
A copy of the CBA needs to be delivered to the employees at least ten days prior to the consultation’s date.
Once the aforementioned process is completed, the union will print, enumerate, and seal as many ballots as required, generated through the STPS’s digital platform, that would correspond to the roster of the employer’s workforce.
The STPS will authorize a labor representative’s presence during the voting process. This will guarantee security, transparency, reliability, and certainty. Additionally, the employer cannot participate during the voting procedure.
Once the labor representative validates the voting procedure in which the union obtains the majority, the CBA will be considered as legitimate, and the corresponding legitimation certificate will be issued by the STPS.
If the union does not have the majority support from the employees (50 percent + 1 percent), the CBA will be deemed terminated.
Decree Published in the DOF on March 6, 2023
On March 6, 2023, the STPS published in the DOF that the term to complete the legitimation process mentioned above must be completed before July 31, 2023.
The above-mentioned decree does not mean that the term of May 1, 2023, was extended. It is only authorizing that the requests filed before the STPS to obtain the legitimation certificate prior to May 1, 2023, can complete the voting process prior to July 31, 2023. If legitimation requests are made as of May 1, 2023, the STPS will not authorize the union and the employer to execute a voting process, bringing as a result the termination of the CBA.