Judge nixes six labor reform articles from Milei’s mega-decree

Judge Liliana Rodríguez Fernández’s ruling partially upholds a protective writ filed by the CGT

A top labor court annulled six articles included in the labor reform section of President Javier Milei’s economic deregulation mega-decree of necessity and urgency, known as DNU, on Thursday.

The labor chapter of the president’s sweeping mega-decree is currently suspended thanks to a temporary stay, but this ruling means that unless Congress green-lights the decree, those six articles are permanently nixed. The proposals targeted union payments, limits to working hours, collective bargaining rules, and the right to strike.

Milei announced the controversial mega-decree on December 21, 10 days asfter his inauguration, and it went into effect on December 29. It has been the subject of several legal challenges and protective writs which aim to declare it null or unconstitutional as a whole or in sections. 

So far, the judiciary has only advanced favorably on a writ filed by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT by its Spanish initials) which led to the labor reform freeze. Last week, the writ was sent to the Supreme Court for a final decision.

In Argentina, presidents are banned from legislating except in cases that are so urgent and necessary that they can’t wait to pass through Congress. That’s why DNUs exist. However, Judge Liliana Rodríguez Fernández pointed out in her ruling that Congress is operational and “what’s more, the Executive Branch itself asked for the DNU to be ratified during the extraordinary sessions.”

“I am not making a value judgment on the eventual need for some of the proposed reforms, but the urgency invoked over them clearly does not apply,” the judge said. “The constitutional requirements for using such an instrument have not been met here, making it invalid.”

Beyond judicial disputes, the DNU could also be stopped by Congress by a majority vote in both chambers. Five senators from the opposition bloc Unión por la Patria have requested addressing it in a special session with both chambers for next Thursday, but so far Vice President Victoria Villarruel, head of the Senate, has not accepted.

Meanwhile, a session to discuss the omnibus bill, which complements the DNUs reforms, is expected to take place next week, although a date hasn’t been confirmed yet.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald