Court issues second stay on Milei’s labor reforms

The Labor Appeals Chamber emphasized its jurisdiction over labor law as the government begins forum shopping

The National Labor Appeals Chamber issued another stay blocking President Javier Milei’s labor reforms included in an economic deregulation mega-decree, which went into effect last week. The ruling also emphasizes the Chamber’s jurisdiction over labor law, following a government request for the issue to be addressed in another court.

This measure comes in response to an injunction filed last week by the Workers’ branch of the Argentine Workers Central (CTA-T by its Spanish acronym). The Chamber had already issued a stay on Wednesday in response to a request from the General Confederation of Labor.

Two of three judges ruled to suspend the application of the labor chapter in Milei’s unprecedented “decree of necessity and urgency” — known as DNU in Spanish — “until a final decision is made.” 

The government responded to the first stay by calling for the case to be transferred to the Administrative Litigation Chamber, where other injunctions against the decree were set to be addressed collectively. However, on Thursday Judge Enrique Lavié Pico ruled that they would be addressed individually instead of as a class action. 

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Meanwhile, the National Labor Appeals Chamber indirectly addressed the government’s demand in its second stay, emphasizing that it had jurisdiction over these injunctions because they pertain to labor matters and were filed by unions.

“Unlike the case being processed in the Federal Administrative Litigation Chamber, in this one employment relationships and workers’ freedom and dignity are at stake,” they said in Thursday’s nine-page ruling, adding that those rights are not being specifically addressed elsewhere.

The government will appeal the stay issued on Wednesday before the Supreme Court.

Many other injunctions have been filed against Milei’s DNU since he announced it on December 20. Most of them seek for the entire decree, not specific sections, to be declared unconstitutional.

The mega-decree includes hundreds of reforms including the derogation of the rental law and consumer-protection policies — and went into effect on December 29. However, it has yet to be discussed in Congress: if both the Lower and Upper chambers reject it, it could be completely overruled.


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