Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, the Mexican city that has the most maquiladora workers, export manufacturing factories, was the scene this Saturday of a march in favor of reducing the work day from 48 to 40 hours.
The march was called in several cities in the country by representative Susana Prieto Terrazas, who promotes an initiative that is being analyzed, and that seeks change the Federal Labor Law so that the working day is a maximum of 40 hours instead of 48 as it currently is.
The contingent, of about 100 people, workers and their families, left from the monument to Benito Juárez until reaching the Municipal Presidency, a journey of approximately one kilometer in which the workers raised slogans to reduce your work hours.
Nancy Vázquez Téllez, one of the protesters, told the media that in addition to the 48 hours, at work they ask her for overtime because the time left for personal matters and to dedicate to the family is very little.
In the maquiladoras we always work about 49 hours, which is normal, but we have to work overtime to survive, and then everything goes up, right now the kilo of tortilla has already gone up.
He said he is very hopeful that in March the Congress Mexican achieves approval of the reduction of the working day, in order to have a higher quality of life for her and her family.
“We want to demand that the deputies and senators achieve this, our children need us at home, we neglect them a lot and they are the ones who suffer the consequences. We miss a lot of things with them because we are working because in reality we spend all our time at work,” said the worker.
The initiative to reduce the working day from 48 to 40 hours It was reviewed in open parliament during the second half of 2023 and a few days before voting on it, congressmen delayed it to make some changes.
In that open parliament Academics, labor lawyers, the labor sector and businessmen participated, the latter pointing out that it is a reform that endangers especially small and medium-sized companies if it is carried out suddenly.
“What we ask of the deputies is to raise awareness, they work fewer hours, we do, so that makes that more fair, we also deserve to spend more time with our families,” said José Cervera, another of the workers who participated in the March.
In other countries they work up to 36 hours, what we are asking is for it to be reduced to 40 hours. It seems very unfair to me that while in other countries they work fewer hours, here we work more.
“This city is full of maquilas and earning a minimum wage that is not really enough for us, they have us working all day, we want those 40 hours and that is why we are fighting,” said Miriam Delgado, another protester.
The Mexican businessmen They have maintained that “now is not the time” to approve this reform due to the costs that employers would have to absorb, while President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has commented that it is an issue that deserves to be discussed.
Meanwhile, the tycoon Carlos Slim has maintained that Mexicans need to work more to earn more.
If approved, the reform will have to be approved by Mexican legislators in the Senate and subsequently receive the approval of at least 17 local congresses in Mexican entities in order to have constitutional effects.