News archive

ILO attests to climate of "total impunity" in Guatemala 29.03.2012
The Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation has today approved a report from its Committee on Freedom of Association examining a number of complaints from Guatemalan trade unions concerning violations of fundamental labour rights. "The Committee expresses its deep concern over [...] the numerous murders, murder attempts, acts of aggression, death threats, kidnappings, harassment and initimidation of trade union leaders and members, as well as over the allegations concerning the elaboration of black lists and the climate of total impunity."The Committee also regrets that the...
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Costa Rica: Pineapple companies accept dialogue with trade unions 27.03.2012
After months of discussions with the trade unions that organise workers in Costa Rica’s pineapple plantations, the National Platform for Responsible Pineapple Production and Trade is to create a Working Group to address the long-standing labour issues that have plagued the industry. Costa Rica supplies three quarters of pineapples sold in Europe and in 2010 industry conditions were exposed by Consumers International. National and multinational employers have finally agreed to a proposal from the Costa Rican Deputy Labour Minister to include the trade unions in work to try and improve social...
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Peru: union secures reinstatement of sacked workers 13.03.2012
After a series of unfair sackings over the last few months, SITAG, the trade union which represents workers in the Peruvian banana industry in the Chira Valley, has been able to secure the reinstatement of members of their branch committees who had been sacked.Five workers of the Union y Progreso Farmers’ Association laid off in January - on the pretext that their contracts could not be renewed - are to be reinstated following an appeal to the Dole subsidiary that markets the Association’s bananas to intervene. Those laid off included key members of SITAG’s branch committee.The next day, the...
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Respect and dignity for women agricultural workers 2 12.03.2012
In Honduras, melons represent 11% of agricultural exports. They are mainly cultivated by women who represent two thirds of the workforce. Human rights violations in the industry are numerous and include precarious contracts, long work days, salaries below the national minimum, discrimination and virtually non existent access to health services. This International Women’s Day our partner, COSIBAH (1), has appealed for the multinational fruit company Fyffes to ensure that their principal Honduran subsidiary, Suragro, respects the rights of their workers. COSIBAH also asks that the...
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Award winning union leader speaks of life and work 07.03.2012
On 6 March 2012 Iris Munguia received the prestigious SOLIDAR* Silver Rose award for her struggle to support banana workers in Honduras. The award ceremony took place in the European Parliament in Brussels and brought together representatives of European institutions, SOLIDAR’s partners and allies, and other stakeholders to celebrate the outstanding work of the winners. At the ceremony, Iris spoke movingly of her life and work. She described her journey as a mother of four children and a worker on a Chiquita plantation in Honduras, where she has served for the last 32 years as a trade union...
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First ever global meeting of women banana workers! 21.02.2012
Women trade unionists and small producers from the banana industry in Latin America, the Windward Islands, Ghana and Cameroon will meet on February 24 and 25 to exchange their experiences within the household, workforce and labour movement. This meeting will precede the second global conference of the World Banana Forum (WBF) in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on 28 and 29 February. Women banana workers face many challenges. Fewer and fewer women are being employed in the industry – in some countries less than 8% of the workforce are female ‐ as they are seen to be temporary and ‘high cost’ workers. In...
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Banana union leader wins top award 20.02.2012
A woman union leader has won a prestigious award for her struggle to support workers in Honduras supplying bananas to British stores for as little as £5 a day. Iris Munguia, a former banana worker herself, will next month in Brussels receive a Silver Rose prize from SOLIDAR, a network of 56 nongovernmental organisations in over 90 countries that promote social justice in Europe and worldwide. The presentation ceremony on 6 March will coincide with events to mark International Women’s Day. Members of SOLIDAR in Britain, the not-for-profit cooperative Banana Link and the anti-poverty charity...
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Another killing in Guatemala 13.02.2012
Miguel Angel González Ramírez, a member of the Izabal banana workers’ union SITRABI, was killed on 5 February. He was shot several times whilst carrying his young child in his arms. "This is yet another deadly crime against banana workers and, as such, against the Guatemalan trade union movement as a whole. President Otto Perez Molina must honour the responsibility he has to protect the workers targeted by constant violence,“ insisted ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. The murder took place in the midst of a battle being waged by SITRABI following the refusal of Del Monte subsidiary...
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Stop supermarkets abusing their buyer power with Make Fruit Fair!! 06.02.2012
  'Stop supermarkets abusing their buyer power' is the campaign call from the Make Fruit Fair campaign which wants supermarkets, as the most powerful actors along the supply chain, to pay fair prices to their suppliers. Consumers throughout Europe are being mobilised to petition Barroso for the EC regulation of supermarket buying practices through a Code of Practice enforced and monitored by an ombudsman. Bananas and pineapples are amongst the most traded fruits in the world.  Most are grown on large plantations producing for, or owned by, big fruit companies including Chiquita, Del Monte and...
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Iris Munguia, first woman Coordinator of COLSIBA 13.12.2011
Iris Munguia was appointed Coordinator at COLSIBA during the COLSIBA XI Conference in August this year. She is the first woman to be elected to lead COLSIBA since its foundation in 1993. Iris' election into this prominent position illustrates the great progress Latin American unions have made in terms of gender representation.Women workers in Latin American banana trade face many challenges. They are often subject to sexual harassment and labour discrimination, as they are seen to be unreliable workers. Those who do secure jobs are forced to leave their children at home in order to earn a...
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