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Presentation by Roberto Campa, Secretary of Mexico's Department of Labor and Social Welfare

In this presentation, Secretary Roberto Campa spoke about the achievements of Mexico’s Department of Labor and Social Welfare during the Peña Nieto administration as well as current and future workforce challenges.

Date & Time

Oct. 30, 2018
2:00pm – 3:30pm ET


5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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In this presentation, Secretary Roberto Campa spoke about the achievements of Mexico’s Department of Labor and Social Welfare during the Peña Nieto administration as well as current and future workforce challenges. The discussion focused on workforce development policy, including but not limited to the topics of: the informal sector, employment opportunities for vulnerable groups, creation of jobs, minimum wages and purchasing power, labor reform, and the USMCA agreement. This presentation was part of the Wilson Center’s North American Workforce Development Initiative, a series of events and discussions to explore issues important for workforce development in North America in an effort to develop a viable North American agenda on this important topic. Our goal is to explore ways to better support the preservation and creation of jobs during the current period of intense technological change and global competition, based on cooperation between governments (federal and sub-federal), the private sector, unions, NGOs, academia, and others.  Selected Quotes 

Original Spanish

“Esta administración va a tener resultados históricos en términos de generación de empleos formales. Cuando comenzó este gobierno se propuso la creación de 4 millones de nuevos empleos formales, parecía que esto iba a ser imposible de cumplir.” “The current administration is going to have historic results in terms of job creation in the formal sector. At the beginning of this administration, the target goal was to create 4 million new jobs in the formal sector and we thought that would be an impossible goal to achieve.” “Se ha avanzado mucho en términos de transparencia y libertad sindical, pero vamos a tener que avanzar mucho para que los cambios hechos a la constitución el año pasado y la negociación que se llevó a cabo con Estados Unidos y con Canadá.” “A great deal has been achieved in regards to transparency and democracy as far as unions are concerned, but we need to make more headway in future years based on the constitutional changes made last year, and the negotiations carried out with the United States and Canada.”   “El proceso de negociación [T-MEC] fue un proceso complejo. El tema que se mantuvo sobre la mesa prácticamente hasta el final fue el de la libertad sindical. El resto de los temas fueron resueltos y acordados por unanimidad, pero el tema que presentó mayor complejidad fue el tema de la libertad sindical, especialmente en términos de negociación colectiva.” “The process of the [USMCA] negotiations that we had was very complex.  The issue that was left pending almost to the end was the issue of union freedom. All the other issues were resolved and agreed upon by unanimity, but the issue that was the stumbling block and required the greatest effort was union freedom, especially in regards to collective bargaining.”  “Creo que lo que hemos aprendido también en esta parte de nuestro continente es que se hacen los esfuerzos para complicar el acceso de los migrantes a nuestros países, pero al final una parte muy importante de ellos, a pesar de las barreras y a pesar de los esfuerzos que se hacen, terminan consiguiendo entrar. Ese mismo esfuerzo hay que hacerlo también para cambiar las condiciones y para apoyar a los países de este triángulo, porque sin cambiar las condiciones, independientemente de que tengan coyunturas políticas, no vamos a poder contener el flujo migratorio.”“I believe what we have learned so far in this part of in this part of the continent is that, despite efforts to stop migrants from coming in and despite barriers and the border controls, they end up entering. That same effort needs to be made to change the conditions on the ground in these three countries, because if we don’t, regardless of any political motivation that may have to do with this, the migratory flows are going to grow and we won’t be able to contain these migration flows.” 






Welcoming Remarks

 Amb. Earl Anthony WaynePublic Policy Fellow and Co-chair of the Mexico Institute’s Advisory Board, Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico 


Secretary Roberto Campa

Mexico’s Department of Labor and Social Welfare

Hosted By

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

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