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Mexico lower house approves labor reform bill

Mexico's Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Spanish] approved a bill after 14 hours of debate on Saturday that provides for a broad range of reforms to Mexico's labor market. The bill seeks to improve the transparency of Mexico's trade unions and make labor regulations more flexible. The bill was a bipartisan effort between the conservative outgoing National Action Party (PAN) and the more liberal incoming Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) [party websites, in Spanish]. The final version of the bill [Reuters report] includes provisions that streamline labor disputes, makes it easier to hire and fire workers, allows unions to create their own election rules, and regulates outsourcing. It will now go to the Mexican Senate [official website, in Spanish], which will have 30 days to pass or reject it.

The bill was given preliminary approval [JURIST report] on Friday. Earlier this month outgoing president Felipe Calderon [official website, in Spanish] introduced the labor reform bill [JURIST report]. The bill was introduced [Reuters report] in the Congress of Mexico by Interior Minister Alejandro Poires. Lawmakers from both the PAN and PRI have shown support for the legislation. Incoming president Enrique Pena Nieto [campaign website] of the Institutional Revolutionary Party has pledged to back the legislation. Calderon is seeking to fast track the legislation before he leaves office in November.

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