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Mexican Congress passes labor reforms

November 15, 2012

The Mexican Senate approved the first major changes to the country’s labor laws in over 40 years on Tuesday.

The long-awaited reforms received 99 votes in favor and 28 against.  Having already been passed by the lower house, the bill will now be signed into law by President Felipe Calderon.

It will be Calderon’s last major act in office, as he steps down at the end of the month to be replaced by Enrique Peña Nieto. Both men supported the reforms, which will facilitate the hiring and firing of workers, restrict workers’ rights to strike and enable employers to outsource some work.

Peña Nieto and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) only backed the bill after removing legislation which would have made labor unions more transparent and democratic.

Senators from Mexico’s leftist parties opposed the reforms, arguing they weaken workers’ rights while only protecting the powerful union bosses who favor the PRI.

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