COLSIBA news

10.18.2017
The 14th conference of COLSIBA (the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Unions) was held at the Grand Hotel in San Pedro Sula, Honduras from the 11 to 13 of October, Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer of the GMB, reports.   In attendance were affiliates from Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Also present were representatives from 3F (Denmark) GMB (UK) Solidarity Center (USA), ILRF (USA), BanaFair (Germany) and two organisers from a new agro industrial...
03.09.2017
“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...
08.22.2016
On 15th August, a framework agreement on trade union rights and sectoral dialogue was signed by seven banana producers’ associations and the main trade union in the sector, SITAG. This comes after several years of conflict between some of the associations and the union, and is the result of a long process mediated by COLSIBA, Fairtrade International, the Peruvian Fair Trade Producer Coordinating Body and Banana Link.   Reaching this agreement is a major step forward for the producers and the workers and provides the basis for a fair sharing of the wealth created by the organic banana export...
08.03.2012

3rd August, San Pedro Sula, Honduras

The Political Committee of the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agroindustrial Workers Unions (COLSIBA) met in San Pedro Sula on 1st, 2nd  and 3rd August.  On Friday 3rd, Gerardo Iglesias, IUF Regional Secretary and Carlos H. Reyes, member of the IUF Latin American Executive Committee, participated in the meeting.

In his opening speech, Gilbert Bermúdez Umaña, sub-coordinator of COLSIBA, reminded those assembled that “In August last year, together with Gerardo (Iglesias), we had the opportunity to introduce the Forum...

04.10.2012

More than 20 years since the last collective agreement covering workers in the Nicaraguan banana industry, the Chinandega Banana Workers’ Union Federation (Fetrabach) has signed an agreement covering its members on four plantations in the country’s North West department of Chinandega.

The three trade unions representing around 800 workers at the Alfonso, Angelina, Pennsilvania and San Luis plantations, all affiliated to Fetrabach, presented their petition for negotiation back in April 2011 and had to undergo 23 working sessions with the employer’s representatives before reaching a...

03.12.2012

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...

03.07.2012

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...

02.21.2012

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’...

02.20.2012

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...

12.13.2011

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...

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