IUF Latin America and COLSIBA agree to coordinate policies and actions

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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 for Corporate Social Responsibility and Labour Rights in the Guatemalan Banana Industry.

“On that occasion, we made a commitment to instigate a joint initiative between COLSIBA and the Latin America region of the IUF to face up to the enormous challenges presented by the banana-producing sector.  We identified the need to initiate a project aimed at creating Decent Work and a better living for thousands of workers,” continued Bermúdez.

For her part, Iris Munguía, coordinator of COLSIBA, showed her enthusiasm at this opportunity to establish a strategic alliance with the Latin American branch of the IUF: “This was a subject tackled during the 14th Latin American Regional Conference of the IUF, held last year in Mar del Plata, where a resolution was approved which backs up this idea of combining efforts,” she said.

The proposal is to merge the Latin American Federation of Banana Workers of the IUF and COLSIBA.  It is hoped that this process can be completed in a short period of time.

To this end, it was agreed to combine skills which contribute towards strengthening the existing trade unions.  Organisation of banana workers from the Pacific South region of Guatemala would also be promoted.  Other resolutions included acting jointly and efficiently within the World Banana Forum and stepping up efforts to form a Federation in Costa Rica, with the aim of achieving improved levels of communication with companies and the government.

Source: REL-UITA website, August 2012