Mexican labor bill nabs key Congress vote, spurred by Pelosi warning


Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Tom Brown, Reuters

APRIL 11, 2019


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The labor commission in Mexico’s lower house has approved a workers’ rights bill that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi considers key to winning over Democrats wary of a revamped trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


Pelosi last week called on Mexico to see through the legislation, saying U.S. lawmakers could not even take up the issue unless Mexico put new laws in place to protect workers.


Democratic lawmakers in Washington say the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) must ensure workers in Mexico have the right to organize, a step that would require new Mexican labor laws. They believe a major weakness of NAFTA was that it allowed Mexican wages to stagnate.


The workers’ rights bill was approved by the labor commission in Mexico’s lower house of Congress with 19 votes on Wednesday. One legislator voted against it while another abstained. It was scheduled for a vote in the full house Thursday and could land in the Senate as soon as next week.


After Pelosi’s comments, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he does want to give the United States any motive to reopen negotiations...