News archive

Peru flooding: trade unionists desperately need your help 30.03.2017
Members of Banana Link's Peruvian trade union partner, SITAG (Sindicato De Trabajadores Agrarios Del Peru), and SITETSA (Sindicato De Trabajadores Empresa Talsa) trade union in Peru desperately need financial help to rebuild their homes, offices and their lives following recent devastating floods and landslides in Peru.    Communication with the affected areas is difficult due to power cuts and phone lines being down, but we have been told that in the city of Piura, at least a dozen SITAG members have lost their homes, and the union office has collapsed, while in the Province of Viru and its...
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Banana Link and partners call on Colombian government to protect trade unionists 30.03.2017
Banana Link and eighteen of our partner organisations have today written to the Government of Colombia calling on them to provide protection for the leaders of the country's banana workers' union, SINTRAINAGRO. The letter follows a recent grenade attack at SINTRAINAGRO offices in the department of Magdalena, Ciénaga municipality, on 8 March. SINTRAINAGRO represents 35,000 workers engaged in the production and / or export of bananas, sugar cane, oil palm, rice and flowers. Throughout its history, the Union has supported all the peace negotiations carried out in the country, which has allowed...
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Costa Rica sets new record in banana exports 10.03.2017
The value of banana exports also reaches an all-time high of $986 million. Productivity rises from 2,339 to 2,800 boxes per hectare per year. BY MARVIN BARQUERO S. mbarquero@nacion.com Banana growing is centred on the cantons of Sarapiquí, Pococí Siquirres, Guácimo, Matina, Limón and Talamanca on the Carribean coast, and in Parrita, Corredores and Palmar Sur on the Pacific coast. It provides direct employment for an estimated 43,000 workers.  JORGE CASTILLO/ARCHIVO Banana exports in Costa Rica reached record levels last year in terms of both volume and value, aided by the weather and a number...
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Record banana exports: The role of the worker 10.03.2017
Albino Vargas opinion@laprensalibre.cr   986 million dollars! Yes, that's right! Dollars! Converting it into colones, using the current exchange rate of around 566 colones to the dollar, gives us the gigantic sum of 558.076 billion colones! Or, expressed in figures: 558,076,000,000.    This massive figure amounts to almost two percentage points of the country's current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if we take each GDP percentage point to be around 300 billion colones (300,000,000,000).   Great! But what do these numbers actually refer to? This huge amount of money, according to data supplied...
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Melon-producing subsidiary dismisses all staff who were members of STAS. 10.03.2017
Fyffes has sunk even lower, dismissing all security staff who had joined the Union of Workers in Agroindustry and Allied Trades (STAS) from its melon plantations. The process of organising a sub-branch of the STAS union among security staff at Melon Export SA (Melexsa), one of three of Fyffes’s subsidiaries in Honduras, had been undertaken with great care and in total secrecy in order to avoid attacks from the company.   Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent Fyffes, once more, from showing contempt for the rights of its men and women workers.   “We held a mass meeting, and we...
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Freedom & Fairness for Fyffes workers campaign marks International Women’s Day 09.03.2017
“We do not want flowers, we want rights!”   International Women’s Day 2017 was marked by a demonstration outside the office’s of Fyffes’ subsidiary in Cholutecca, Honduras yesterday, by women workers suffering violations of their labour rights, including non-payment of minimum wages and social security, non-recognition of their union by the company, and sackings of workers who join the union.     View more pictures from the demonstration here.   International solidarity and support   Banana Link published a video in which Iris Munguia, Coordinator, COLSIBA (the Regional Coordination of...
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Will new owners of Fyffes tackle continued labour rights abuses in Central America? 22.02.2017
Twenty eight organisations from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States, gathered in Bologna this week, are calling on the directors of the newly acquired Fyffes to address continuing labour rights violations in Costa Rica and Honduras.   In the face of the global Freedom & Fairness for Fyffes Workers campaign, systematic sackings of union members at Fyffes Honduran subsidiary Suragroh continue.   In the last week we understand that 65 security staff have been sacked. This move follows the establishment of a new union branch committee established to represent these...
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International delegation gathers further evidence of labour rights violations at Fyffes subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Honduras 10.02.2017
“The pineapple that the consumer eats, they should know that they are consuming the sacrifice we make with our lives” – Cruz Urvina Lopez, worker at Anexco, Costa Rica   Between 21 and 25 January an international delegation of representatives from Banana Link, the GMB union, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), 3F (General Union of Danish Workers) and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) visited Costa Rica and Honduras to meet government officials, local trade union representatives and workers at Fyffes subsidiaries, Anexco and Suragroh respectively. Honduras – Suragroh and...
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“Fyffes is an arrogant and authoritarian company” 10.02.2017
From January 23 through 25, an international mission formed by several international organizations, including the IUF, visited Honduras with the aim of verifying reports of serious violations of workers’, union and human rights committed against women employed by the melon companies owned by Fyffes, an Irish fruit multinational corporation. La Rel spoke with Alistair Smith, international coordinator of the NGO Banana Link, to learn about the outcome of the mission. What is your assessment of this visit to southern Honduras? Very positive. We met with the organized workers of the melon...
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Innovative Customs project for bio-bananas 03.02.2017
Following the success of an innovative Customs project in the port of Antwerp for smoother imports of bio-bananas, i.e. bananas grown organically without the use of pesticides or other chemicals, a digital "bio-certificate" will be introduced EU-wide as of April 2017.   A highly advanced EU pilot project was recently rolled out in the port of Antwerp, more specifically in the BNFW fruit terminal, in which the Customs service played a prominent role. In this leading fruit port the possibilities were trialled for replacing the paper bio-certificate with a more reliable and above all faster...
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