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Cablegate: The Legislative Priorities of Mexico's Pri/Labor

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RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHM RUEHHO RUEHJO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD
RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #5528/01 2701925
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271925Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3433
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHXI/LABOR COLLECTIVE
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 005528

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DRL, WHA/MEX, WHA/PPC; USDOL FOR ILAB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB ECON PGOV PHUM PINR SMIG
SUBJECT: THE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES OF MEXICO'S PRI/LABOR
FEDERAL DEPUTIES


1. Summary: Although the 60th session of Mexico,s national
congress started work on September 1, 2006, the PRI/labor
affiliated representatives to this body have been working
together since their election on July 2 to establish a
common set of legislative priorities. To some extent,
these priorities (listed below) are a laundry list of
everything these representatives would like to obtain both
from their fellow legislators and the incoming
administration of Mexican president-elect Felipe Calderon.
Despite the ambitious nature of many of the items on this
list, there are some elements (fair treatment of women in
the work place, anti-child labor initiatives, etc,) that
could develop into fruitful areas of cooperation between
the US and Mexico over time. End Summary.

2. The 60th session of Mexico,s congress began on
September 1, 2006. As is common in the Mexican congress a
number of PRI Federal Deputies won office because of their
affiliation to the various elements of Mexico,s organized
labor movement. Despite the fact that these PRI/Labor
Federal Deputies have only recently taken office it appears
that they have been working since their election this past
July 2 to come up with a list of common legislative
priorities. The list was established o/a August 15, but is
only just now being shared with the broader leadership of
the labor unions that these legislators represent.

3. It is not yet clear whether the PRI/Labor Federal
Deputies have come up with a strategy to obtain their
legislative priorities. However, they do seem to be aware
that they will need the support of their fellow legislators
if they hope to see their priorities implemented. These
legislators also appears to have a sense of urgency in that
they want to quickly build support for their priorities so
that they can negotiate productively with the incoming
administration of Mexican president-elect Felipe Calderon.
As the largest party in the Chamber, the PAN, holds only
40% of the seats, it will need to cut deals with the PRI to
get its own priorities through, and the PRI/Labor deputies
may sense that they are most likely to obtain PAN support
for their priorities early in the session.

4. The following is a complete list of the PRI/Labor
Federal Deputies legislative priorities for the 60 th
session of Mexico,s national congress. To some extent the
list is a bit of a laundry list of everything these
labor-affiliated Federal Deputies would like to obtain for
the groups they represent. That said, there are some items
on the list below which could prove to be productive areas
of cooperation between the US and Mexico.

- Freedom of (labor) association and to organize

- Freedom of all labor movements to elect their own
leadership

- Freedom to engage in collective bargaining

- Respect for labor autonomy

- Respect for the right to strike

- A right to housing

- Stable employment with decent wages and benefits

- Compliance with legal guarantees for the fair
treatment for women in the workplace

- Eradication of the worst forms of child labor;
promote the ratification of ILO Convention 138 concerning
the minimum age for employment

- Prevent changes in the authorized workers,
benefits in social services agencies

- A right to timely and efficient medical and social
security services

- Guarantees of full funding for pension/retirement
benefits (with specific prohibitions against government use
of these funds for unrelated purposes)

- Ensure that national fiscal reform takes into
consideration the just and equitable treatment of the
salary and benefits the country,s lowest paid workers

- Obtain tax relief for paid benefits associated

MEXICO 00005528 002 OF 002


with working overtime, productivity and quality incentives,
transportation subsidies, etc.

- Integrate the informal sectors of the economy into
a system of shared (fiscal/tax) responsibilities

- Training to improve quality control

- Regulate and limit the creation of outsourcing
companies that weaken or undercut the rights of workers

- Promote the establishment of a national minimum
wage (currently the minimum wage varies from one region to
another of Mexico)

- Analyze the effectiveness of, and debate the need
for the continued existence of the National Minimum Wage
Commission given this organization,s poor record of
protecting the salaries of workers

- Establish a clear and easily understand method for
informing workers about (deductions for)their retirements
savings

- Federalize the (current state system) of
Conciliation and Arbitration Councils

- Maintain (for the PRI) the Committee Chairmanship
of the Chamber of Deputies, "Work Commission"

- Guarantee the fair treatment of agricultural
workers that have emigrated to the US through the
establishment of treaties or conventions stabilize rights
and salaries of such employees; advance laws that promote
job creation in Mexico.


5. The above list of priorities was developed by the
following PRI/Labor Federal Deputies:

Dip. Prof. Patricio Flores Sandoval
Dip. Diego Aguilar Acuna
Dip. Joel Ayala Almeida
Dip. Jesus Ramirez Stabros
Dip. Lic. Juan Carlos Velasco Perez
Dip. Ing. Ricardo Aldana Prieto
Dip. Alfredo Barba Hernandez

6. Comment: The PRI/Labor legislative priorities are
obviously the creation of only one of the eight political
parties represented in the Mexican Congress, albeit in this
Congress, the PRI faction is likely to play a pivotal role,
given the likely unwillingness of the PRD to cooperate with
the PAN on many issues. To post,s knowledge these
priorities have not yet been passed to other political
parties for their comment or reaction. Some items on the
list may well prove unacceptable to Mexico,s other
political parties.

7. That said, there are areas where the US may be able to
cooperate with Mexico,s congress to promote legal reform
that would be mutually beneficial to both countries. Items
such as freedom of association, compliance with law
providing for the fair treatment of women in the workplace,
the ratification of ILO Convention 138 and efforts to
eliminate the worst forms of child labor are areas where
the US is already playing a leading role internationally.
We will need to see how Mexican congressional politics
develop over the next few months, but we may have a good
opportunity to promote these priorities as well in our
bilateral relations with Mexico.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity

GARZA

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