On 20 September 2018, the Mexican Senate unanimously ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 98, adopted in Geneva, Switzerland in 1949. The Convention applies the principles of the right to organise and to bargain collectively.
The Convention protects workers’ right against any acts of anti-union discrimination, in particular, acts whose purpose is to make a worker’s employment conditional upon he or she not joining a union or relinquishing trade union membership. This provision grants workers full power and freedom to elect whether to belong to a union. It also eliminates the practice of using a ‘closed shop clause’ in collective agreements.
The Convention also provides that workers’ and employers’ organisations in a particular workplace may not interfere with each other; ‘interference’ being understood as any action aimed to promote the creation of a workers’ organisation dominated by the employer or employers’ organisations that financially support another workers’ organisation, so as to place such workers’ organisations under the employers’ control.
It further provides for an obligation to create appropriate and efficient bodies to ensure respect of the right to organise, if necessary.
Inactive collective bargaining agreements will be affected once the Convention enters into force, since employers will be subject to a requirement to provide an active and accessible voluntary negotiation scheme for unionised workers.
The Convention will become a part of the Mexican legal system 12 months after being ratified with the ILO.