Milei’s mega-decree: court declares labor chapter unconstitutional

The last stop for the government to defend the labor reform is the Supreme Court

The National Labor Appeals Chamber ruled on Tuesday that all the articles in President Javier Milei’s mega-decree regarding labor are unconstitutional. The chamber had already applied a temporary stay on the proposed labor reforms — which include the right to strike, limits to working hours, and collective bargaining rules — in response to an injunction filed by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) in December. 

The last stop for the government to defend the DNU’s embattled labor reform chapter is the Supreme Court.

The Appeals Chamber held that the labor chapter of the mega-decree is contrary to Article 99, paragraph 3 of the National Constitution, which states that “the Executive Branch may not in any case […] issue provisions of a legislative nature.”

The judgment handed down by the court is the first on the fundamentals of the mega-decree’s labor matters.

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In their ruling, judges Mario Fera, Manuel Diez Selva, and Héctor Guisado warned that the National Constitution is “eloquent” and that “the exercise of legislative powers by the Executive Branch is made under strictly exceptional circumstances. 

In its appeal against the first ruling, the Executive Branch said that the decree’s “necessity and urgency” constitute a political, and not a judicial, decision. However, for the chamber, the “urgency” was not apparent especially given that several of the laws that the Executive Branch intends to modify without lawmaker intervention “are of a repressive or punitive nature.”

The mega-decree went into effect on December 29 and has yet to be discussed in Congress. Last week, a top labor court annulled six articles in the labor reform section, meaning that unless Congress green-lights the decree, they would be permanently nixed. 

— with information from Télam


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