News archive

Guadeloupe : Six-week strike ends in agreement 06.07.2017
Banana workers from 20 plantations in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe went back to work this week after a six-week long strike over a range of issues covering their system of payment and occupational health & safety issues. The strike, which started on 18th May and gained the support of the majority of the workforce, has concluded with an agreement with the islands’ producers’ association. It is hoped that this agreement lays the foundation for improved relations in an industry where there is no collective agreement regulating pay and working conditions.   Workers block a road...
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Colombian agricultural workers' union leader assassinated 05.07.2017
Alberto Román Acosta González, the president of the Guacarí branch of the National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries (Sintrainagro), was murdered on Saturday 1 July in the Valle del Cauca’s sugar plantation zone.   Sintrainagro, the National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries has issued the following statement:    Apartadó, 1 July 2017   Sintrainagro, the National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries, informs its partners and the national and international public of the murder of Alberto Román Acosta González, a union leader of the sugar cane workers in the Valle del...
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Your donations helping to rebuild lives in Peru 19.06.2017
Thank you for your donations to our appeal in support of tropical fruit workers who lost their homes in recent flooding in Peru. So far, we have raised £2000, which has been sent to Peru. The first £800 of your donations have been spent on buying 18 mattresses and 3 gas cookers, that were distributed to the victims in the La Libertad region, who are workers of the companies Talsa and Sociedad Agrícola Virú. They lost everything.    We will bring you further reports, as we get them, on how the rest of the money is being spent.    You can still donate to our appeal here to help buy building...
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'It's darkening Ireland's name': Inside the row between Fyffes and its Honduran workers 19.06.2017
Serious allegations have been levelled at the company, one of the country’s biggest corporate successes.   Article reproduced from https://fora.ie BY PAUL O'DONOGHUE REPORTER, FORA THOUSANDS OF MILES away from her employer’s Dublin base, Oglis Mejia harvests melons under the scorching Honduran sun, struggling to provide for her five children. The 35-year-old single mother has spent her entire working life in the employment of Fyffes, one of the biggest multinational companies to ever emerge from Ireland.   She lives in La Permuta, a rural area near the municipality of Choluteca, one of the...
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Fyffes: International Union of Foodworkers calls on Honduran Labour Minister to intervene 14.06.2017
The Latin American Region of the International Union of Foodworkers (Rel-UITA) has called on Honduran Labour Minister, Carlos Madero, to intervene to ensure that following the recent suspension of Fyffes from the UK Government's Ethical Trading Intiative (ETI), the parties engage in constructive diaklogue to break the "vicious cycle of impunity that Fyffes' melon subsidiaries have thus far enjoyed in the country".  We reproduce the Rel-UITA letter below: 
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Update on Fyffes suspension from ETI 12.06.2017
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) have today published the following update on their recent suspension of Fyffes: On May 4th, ETI’s Board suspended Fyffes’ membership over what it viewed as the company’s failure to meet its membership obligations. This upheld the recommendations of a disciplinary subcommittee that met on March 30th.   Importantly, the subcommittee commented on their concerns about Fyffes’ understanding of, and commitment to, working within ETI’s Base Code of labour standards and its Principles of Implementation. The Principles define the commitments, management practices...
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Banana workers' Farm Co-op in Cameroon benefiting from your donations 06.06.2017
Many thanks to those who have donated to our appeal for donations to support Fako Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU) co-operative farm in Cameroon. To date over £1200 has been raised for the farm, which has enabled them, among other things, to purchase 37 automatic poultry drinkers. The farm also now has 115 pigs, and is about to introduce its second batch of chickens, having sold out their first batch. We have some recent photos from the Co-op below.    Read more about the farm and make a donation here:     Wanji John setting up some of the automatic poultry feeders   Just a few of the...
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Rainforest Alliance suspends Costa Rican banana and pineapple producer 31.05.2017
Rainforest Alliance recently suspended the certification of Grupo Acon, a banana and pineapple producer in Costa Rica. The reasons for the suspension relate to discrimination against workers who join a trade union, and having no complaint or grievance mechanisms to protect workers’ rights in place.  In welcoming this action by Rainforest Alliance, and the prospect of a change of practice by Grupo Acon to reach the standards required by the certifier, we reproduce the statement below from our Costa Rican trade union partner, Sindicato de Trabajadores de Plantaciones Agricolas (SITRAP), which...
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Workers report miscarriage, sexual harassment and acts of aggression 31.05.2017
  Workers report miscarriage, sexual harassment and acts of aggression - Pineapple and banana production crushes women’s rights   T-shirt, jeans and oil-skin boots. That is how Sugeily Sarmiento dresses to work on the banana plantation on the Palo Verde estate in Matina. Every morning she puts on these clothes to go to work, but she cannot erase the memory of how, three months ago, they were soaked in blood, when she had a miscarriage - she alleges - as a result of abuse of her labour rights.    “The boss mistreats me. When I was pregnant he came up to me and told me that there was no use me...
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Toxic herbicide banned amid calls for halt to pineapple expansion in Costa Rica 22.05.2017
The government of Costa Rica announced on 16 May that it is to ban the use of the toxic chemical herbicide Bromacil throughout the country.     The chemical is widely used by pineapple farmers, but poses a high risk of contaminating groundwater and affecting human health. Effects on human health include irritation to the skin, eyes and the respiratory tract, vomiting, muscle weakness, and diarrhoea, whilst it has also been linked to thyroid, liver and kidney cancers.    “We have analysed, from the environmental point of view – that Bromacil is highly toxic, especially to humans, and is highly...
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