MEXICO CITY — Mexico's senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would restrict workers’ rights to strike and relax hiring and firing rules for businesses.
The bill — passed after weeks of drama and debate — does not contain some of the original language that sought to reform the country’s notoriously sclerotic unions. Those measures were stripped out by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, whose presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, won this year after promoting himself as a serious reformer, a claim his opponents now doubt more than ever.
Some of the largest and most powerful unions in Mexico are widely considered to be warrens of corruption. They also tend to support the PRI.
Among other things, the bill as passed would allow companies to pay an hourly wage; hire workers for trial periods and fire them easily if they prove unsuited to the work; and outsource some work. Supporters of the law have argued that more flexible labor rules will ensure that Mexico remains competitive globally.