News archive

Peruvian agro-export company TALSA dismisses whole union committee – act now! 05.04.2016
All nine members of the executive committee of the SITETSA (Sindicato De Trabajadores Empresa Talsa) union were sacked in February this year by their employers, the agribusiness company TALSA in Peru. Two former union members were also dismissed.   TALSA denies the legal existence, not only of the union committee, but also of the FENTRAIR federation (Federacion Nacional De Trabajadores Del Sector Agrario, Industria, Riego y Similares Del Peru) to which SITETSA belongs.   These dismissals occurred at the time when negotiations should have begun to renew the Collective Bargaining Agreement...
Read more
Report of Labour rights abuses in Peru export industries 05.04.2016
The US Department of Labour (DOL) has published a report in response to a complaint filed under the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) by ILRF (International Labour Rights Forum - an American workers' rights advocacy group) and Peruvian trade unions about persistent, widespread labour abuses.   Under Peru's Non-Traditional Export Promotion (NTEP) law it is perfectly legal for companies to hire workers on short-term, temporary contracts that can be renewed indefinitely. Employers regularly use this practice to bust unions: if workers attempt to organize to improve wages and working...
Read more
GMB Calls For Fyffes To Pay Workers A Living Wage 02.03.2016
Fyffes has increased its profit margin by exploiting a culture of impunity in Honduras and taking advantage of weak regulation in Costa Rica, says GMB   GMB is calling for Fyffes, the Irish multinational fruit company, to improve working conditions for Honduran and Costa Rican plantation and farm workers and to pay them a living wage.    At an advisory meeting to the EU-Central America Association Agreement on March 1st, Bert Schouwenburg, one of 3 European trade union representatives, condemned Fyffes behaviour on its Honduran melon plantations and Costa Rican pineapple farms. See notes to...
Read more
Lidl switch to sustainable bananas. Will it make a difference? 16.02.2016
Discount suppermarket Lidl has announced that it is to stock only bananas certified by the NGO Rainforest Alliance, joining Asda that already does so, and Tesco, which could follow suit soon. In addition, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose already stock only Fairtrade or organic bananas. However, although the UK may be the biggest market in the world for Fairtrade, organic and other certified bananas, it still has one of the lowest retail prices in the northern hemisphere. Meaning that producers are struggling to invest in working conditions and wages. Quoted in the Guardian, Banana Link...
Read more
Fyffes accused of disrespecting workers' rights 12.02.2016
The GMB trade union has called for Fyffes to be thrown out of the UK Government's Ethical Trade Initiative, which promotes labour rights, over reports of abuses by subsidiaries of Fyffes in Costa Rica and Honduras. Banana Link, also an ETI member, has said “We absolutely hear the frustration from unions on the ground. We’re keen to engage in dialogue with Fyffes in the hope that they’ll speak to unions on the ground.” Read the full story here: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/11/fyffes-accused-disrespec... Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian
Read more
European Commission fails to act on Unfair Trading Practices in banana supply chains 04.02.2016
A recently published report by the European Commission (EC) on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain, has failed to propose legislation to tackle problems in the banana supply chain which have been highlighted by the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair! campaign, in which Banana Link plays a central role. Instead, the EC has passed responsibility to a voluntary initiative set up by the private sector and to EU Member States.    Banana Link and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office had published a report last October - Banana value chains in Europe and the consequences of Unfair Trading...
Read more
Banana Link featured in the fight to save the Cavendish banana 28.01.2016
UK media have carried a number of reports in recent days about the threat of Panana disease to the existence of the Cavendish banana. A number of the reports have quoted Banana Link's International Co-ordinator, Alistair Smith, who explained that "It's a huge issue for growers who have already been affected in places like the Philippines but awareness is only now growing in the Americas who are yet to be hit. The potential for devastation if it does reach them is almost total."   Alistair was interviewed by Norwich based Mustard TV - you can watch the interview here.   National media coverage...
Read more
Positive developments in response to ANEXCO urgent action appeal 11.01.2016
Further to the update in November on our Urgent Action appeal in support of SINTRAPEM union members at Costa Rican pineapple producer ANEXCO, we can report some recent developments, which we hope indicate that a satisfactory resolution to the grievances of union members will be possible.   We can report that:   1. The Costa Rican Labour Ministry has offered to provide a mediator to facilitate local dialogue between the union and ANEXCO management over the grievances raised by union members.   2. The union and ANEXCO management are engaged in discussion of the terms on which the three workers...
Read more
Pressure to improve health and safety practices in the banana industry 04.01.2016
Banana Link in collaboration with the CGT union confederations of France and Guadeloupe and Latin American Banana & Agroindustrial Workers’ Union Coordinating Body COLSIBA are pressing governments in Latin America and Europe to ratify an important ILO convention that would be a step to improving respect for decent occupational health and safety practices in the global banana industry. Convention 184 on Health and Safety in Agriculture has only been signed by one banana exporting country (Ghana) and very few European countries. We are hopeful that in 2016 we will see ratifications by at...
Read more
Gender equity in the banana industry - a global women's strategy meeting 16.12.2015
Women representatives directly involved in banana production and from civil society, including members and partners of EUROBAN, recently met in Bonn, Germany to share experiences of the challenges facing women in the industry and initiatives to empower women to improve their conditions.    The goal of the meeting was to develop collective strategies to achieve gender equity in banana export production, with the specific objectives of:  • Sharing experiences between women directly involved in banana export production • Ensuring that the experiences of women workers and small holders, and the...
Read more

Pages