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SINTRAINAGRO, Colombia’s banana workers’ union, is the largest in Latin America, representing over 18,000 banana workers and 266 growers. Colombia has the highest wages in the international banana industry thanks to sector-wide collective bargaining, as well as being a key source of Fairtrade bananas. 

We have supported our partner SINTRAINAGRO to undertake a range of initiatives to support women workers who lost their jobs due to fierce winds which devastated the banana sector in Uraba, Colombia in 2014. These included training workshops for women on alternative income sources, a marketplace providing basic goods to the affected women, purchase of school supplies for their children, and a hardship fund.

SINTRAINAGRO – a Colombian success story

In an industry characterised by exploitation, SINTRAINAGRO has become the most powerful union representing banana workers in Latin America. They have developed a very positive relationship with the employers association, AUGURA, which represents 78% of the total hectares of bananas grown for export in Colombia. 
98% of workers on AUGURA plantations are unionised, and as the video below explains, both AUGURA and SINTRAINAGRO recognise the benefits for workers that come from their constructive relationship. This includes good pay and working conditions, housing, education and medical services, along with cultural and sporting initiatives.

Celebrating the struggle of women banana workers in Colombia 

On International Women's Day, Banana Link partner, SINTRAINAGRO, Colombia’s banana workers’ union, celebrated the contribution of women workers to the struggle for equal rights.

“We won’t tolerated more violence”

Sintraingro organized a demonstration day rejecting all types of violence against women.      

The General Secretary of the National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries (SINTRAINAGRO), Adela Torres, spoke to La Rel about the action they hold on the municipality of Apartadó, as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
“Every year, this date is a day for reflection. This year it was day for denouncing and to raise the voice in rejection of all types of violence that we women are subject to”, pointed. Read more

Colombian workers and producers conclude agreement in record time

Representatives of over 18,000 banana workers and 266 growers, have concluded a new two-year collective bargaining agreement in just 19 days of negotiation.
Despite difficult conditions for Colombian fruit on international markets, Latin America's biggest banana workers'  union, SINTRAINAGRO, has secured a broad agreement with the industry in Urabá, the country's main exporting region. The agreement includes an increase in wage rates of 6% in the first year and an increase in line with the Consumer Price Index for the second year. Read more .....

Action to support women workers who were temporarily suspended in Uraba, Colombia 

Fierce winds in 2014 devastated the banana sector in Uraba, Colombia, and a large number of women were temporarily suspended from their jobs. In response the women's secretary of SINTRAINAGRO requested national and international aid. Funding from UIA enabled Banana Link and SINTRAINAGRO to organise a range of activities to support the women. These included awareness raising seminars, the purchase and distribution of school equipment for their children, and setting up a fund to help those with health or financial  difficulties. Read more .....


International Women's Day 2016: Reflections from Colombia

Adela Torres, national General Secretary of SINTRAINAGRO reflects on  International Women’s Day. Read more .....

Women's rights in Colombian agroindustry

The first ever meeting on the labour and social rights of women working in the Colombian agro-industry was held on July 30 and 31, 2015 in Apartado, in the Uraba region of Colombia.
Adela Torres, General Secretary of SINTRAINAGRO, shared her thoughts on the event in an interview with La Rel (IUF Latin America).  Read more .....



More resources...

READ: What can we learn from the banana experience in Colombia? (in Spanish)