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Mexican President Calderon Signs Labor-System Overhaul Into Law

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Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon signed into law the nation’s biggest labor overhaul in four decades today, two days before he leaves office, in a move that aims to boost productivity by easing hiring and firing.

Calderon, 50, signed the law today in a ceremony at the presidential residence of Los Pinos two weeks after it was approved by Mexico’s Senate. The bill was one of two he introduced in September with fast-track authority that limited debate.

The president had pushed for similar changes earlier in his six-year term, only to be blocked by President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party. This time, many PRI lawmakers sided with the reform, which Pena Nieto advocated during his election campaign.

The labor bill allows temporary and trial-basis contracts and hourly wages, while regulating outsourcing and limiting the amount of back-wages workers can collect if they win legal disputes with employers. Thousands protested in Mexico City against the initiative in weeks leading up to the vote, saying it erodes workers’ rights.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.