The Paradox of Labor Unions

Arguing to defend "the interests of the workers", labor union groups in Guatemala filed an appeal against the recently approved agreement regulating part-time employment in the country, and in response, the Constitutional Court decided to temporarily suspend it.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

After several years of discussion, on June 27, 2019 Governmental Agreement 89-2019 was published in the Official Newspaper. This Agreement establishes the Regulations of Convention 175 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to regulate the hiring of part-time staff in the country.

You may be interested in "Progress in Partial Employment Law" and "Changes the Labor Market Needs".

Reactions to the change in the Guatemalan labor market did not take long, as on September 9 union organizations decided to act through the legal process, bringing to the Constitutional Court (CC) actions against the regulation.

Daniel Domingo Cabrera, the lawyer who presented the appeal, argued that the agreement contradicts Article 102 paragraph G of the Constitution, which states that workers who work less than 44 hours per week will be entitled to receive the full weekly wage. When he appeared before the CC, he assured that the regulation violates articles 103, 118 and 119 because conditions and access to a dignified life would not be guaranteed.

Lahora.gt reports that "... the CC provisionally suspended articles 2, 4, as well as phrases and dictions contained in numerals of articles 3, 5 and 6. These articles refer mainly to the transfer of full-time part-time workers or vice versa. In addition, they refer to the fact that employment benefits may be determined on a pro rata basis."

The article adds that "... In its resolution, the CC states that in this case 'it considers that the cases provided for in the cited legal norm concur', and therefore decrees the provisional suspension of the norm denounced by the union groups."

For the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF), the resolution of the CC is a negative message for investment and legal certainty, and must be reversed by the Constitutional Court.



More on this topic

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After the Constitutional Court temporarily suspended the legal framework regulating part-time work in Guatemala, a new proposal advances in Congress.

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After the Constitutional Court suspended the agreement regulating part-time employment in Guatemala, the exporters' union asked to be a third party interested in the case, because without the regulations, the generation of formal employment is weakened.

At the beginning of October, the Constitutional Court (CC) decided to temporarily suspend Governmental Agreement 89-2019, which establishes the Regulations of Convention 175 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to regulate the hiring of part-time personnel in the country.

Part-Time Employment Keeps Generating Doubts

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How many hours you can hire under this modality and what type of coverage the Social Security will give these workers, are some of the doubts that businessmen still have in Guatemala.

Regarding the number of hours an employee can be hired, Juan Ernesto de León, vice-president of the Labor, Legal and Human Resources Committee of the Guatemalan American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), explained to Prensalibre.com that "...

Unions Against Part-time Employment

September 2019

Arguing that the regulations contradict some articles of the Political Constitution, in Guatemala union groups brought an action against the agreement that allows companies to hire part-time personnel.

After years of discussion, on June 27th Governmental Agreement 89-2019 was published in the Official Gazette.