Thousands of Mexicans protest outsourcing, easy sacking


Mexico City : Thousands of Mexican union workers have protested in Mexico’s capital city against a bill that seeks to legalise outsourcing and make it easier for businesses to fire employees.

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The proposed legislation, introduced by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, promotes outsourcing, extended probation for new employees, limits the right to strike and extends the mandatory cooling-off period in labour conflicts, among other modifications.

The workers marched Thursday from the Zocalo, Mexico City’s giant main square, to Congress, where lawmakers are expected to approve the bill before April 30.

Telecoms union leader Francisco Hernandez Juarez said during a rally outside Congress that the bill “violates the rights won by workers and promotes dismissals and informal employment”.

“The PRI bill is an attack on workers’ rights and that’s why we have come to stop it and defend collective rights,” he said.

Academics and labour lawyers agree that passing this measure would spur the growth of the underground economy and the migration of young people to organised crime.

Octavio Loyzaga, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, said that the bill contemplates the participation of adolescents and women in the labour market and “responds only to corporate interests by promoting outsourcing and the elimination of collective bargaining”.

“This bill is an attack on the constituton and a brutal procedure against the progress labour has achieved,” he said.

He described outsourcing as a way to subordinate the working class, since if it is approved, unjustified dismissals will be much easier for companies to carry out, he said.

“Businessmen asked PRI lawmakers to help them have greater mobility with workers, to be able to change their activities and their hours, and the party gave them what they wanted with a view to having their support come election time,” Professor Enrique Garza said.