Mexico City Watches over Worker’s RightsBy Cas Biekmann | Mon, 04/13/2020 - 13:55
The local government and NGOs are working to supervise companies’ actions amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico City. The unprecedented situation has led to unanticipated reactions from the private sector. To protect the city’s workers, several entities are working to increase labor protection.
The Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination (COPRED) has received 12 complaints since Mexico City declared the COVID-19 pandemic a health emergency. Complaints came from elderly people or people with an illness, who were pressured by companies to show up to work despite their health concerns.
According to an interview with El Universal, COPRED President Geraldina González indicated that seven of the complaints were aimed at workplaces where measures against vulnerable groups were not taken. In some cases, the work could have been done remotely. González reiterates that vulnerable groups are people over the age of 60, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or those who have a pre-existing health condition. COPRED is investigating a number of cases, ensuring that workplaces in the city do not discriminate against their workers.
The local government is involved strongly as well. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that there would be investigations, following a report by IMSS indicating that between March 13 and April 6, nearly 56,000 people had lost their jobs. If mass layoffs in a large company were detected, this company would not be allowed to open up further offices in the future. Sheinbaum argued that big companies need to show solidarity with workers if they are able to pay salaries. The health emergency has been in effect for two weeks now, meaning 90 percent of the companies operating in the city have had to temporarily close their doors. Although companies will most likely experience severe financial hardships, Sheinbaum stresses that big companies have a great social responsibility to fulfill during the current crisis.