STPS Prepares New Criteria for Agrarian OutsourcingBy Anamary Olivas | Wed, 08/17/2022 - 18:10
The labor ministry aims to issue criteria to classify the cutting and harvesting processes in agribusiness as preponderant economic activities that cannot be outsourced to protect the rights of day laborers.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) has proposed a new criterion to classify various agribusiness activities as the predominant economic activity of companies dedicated to the cultivation, packing, distribution and export of fruit. Therefore, these tasks would not be outsourceable based on the new outsourcing rules.
These criteria would be the basis for inspections of agricultural companies, which means that workers dedicated to such labor should be hired directly by packing and exporting companies, since their tasks will be considered as a core activity of these businesses.
The ministry considers the work to be essential because it is key to have the fruit picked or cut to start the process of sale, distribution, marketing and export, as established in the criteria under review of the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (CONAMER).
In this sense, the labor inspection could consider that when a packing, distributing or exporting company acquires the fruit that it markets, the workers who carried out the harvesting process must be hired by it, ensuring their labor rights.
For now, the criteria are awaiting for the the exemption from the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) requested by the STPS at CONAMER. The project has already received comments from the private sector, mainly from the Employers' Confederation of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX), the National Agricultural Council (CNA) and the Mexican Association of Human Capital Companies (AMECH).
“An example is the avocado, which is a millionaire industry. At the end of the road, the first line of that production process, carried out via on-site day labor, is the worker who least benefits from these millions of profits, because it is an industry that exports primarily to the US. What these companies do is subcontract laborers and exclude them from their production process. Consequently, the workers are no longer part of the most important issue, which is the distribution of profits,” explained the STPS.