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Following an eight-hour debate, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies approved Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) outsourcing bill without a single change, sending it to the Senate for further analysis and ratification.

Much of the eight-hour debate was taken up rejecting the 38 reservations and proposals for modification from various parliamentary groups, after which the vote was taken, with 284 votes in favor of the reform and 108 against, mainly from the conservative National Action Party (PAN), and 17 abstentions.

The new reform specifies that subcontracting will only be allowed in specific specialized services or in the execution of specialized works that do not have a corporate purpose as long as the contractor is in the public registry, and also includes amendments to the Federal Labor Law, social security, the National Housing Fund for Workers, the tax code and the Income Tax Law.

President of the Labor Commission Manuel Baldenebro, at the last minute, proposed four additional articles that would prevent the federal government to personally benefit from subcontracting, to specify only outsourcing will be allowed in terms of specialized services or works.

During the debate, PAN representatives argued that private companies, under the new reform, would only be given three months to regularize all the workers within their companies, while the government would be given until January of 2022 for its own payroll, which would give the government undue advantage over the private sector in regards to the reform’s immediate effects.

“We must give companies laws, not obstacles,” said PAN representative Carlos Valenzuela during the debate. “The business sector is given three months to regularize and migrate to the new system while the public sector is given a year, why are there these differences?”

“We have to be careful with the 4.5 million employees that are affected under this scheme and that unfortunately, since they have no other alternative, will fall into informality,” continued Valenzuela.

However, despite the pushback from opposition parties, just like AMLO ordered for his controversial electricity reform, the new outsourcing reform was passed “without even changing a comma.”

…April 15, 2021

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