SAO PAULO - Mexico's incoming president Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday raised pressure on his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to back a labor reform proposed by the outgoing administration, saying he was optimistic Congress would pass it.

The draft bill put forward this month is viewed as a litmus test of cooperation between the centrist PRI and President Felipe Calderon's conservatives. The lower house of Congress has 11 more days to either approve or reject it .

The reform aims to soften Mexico's antiquated labor laws and force its trade unions to become more transparent, which has raised the hackles of the PRI's powerful union base.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger