Costa Rican banana companies have huge debts to social security system

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26 July 2011

A total of 73 banana companies have debts amounting to some USD 16 million to the CCSS, the Costa Rican public social security and healthcare system. The monies due are employers' statutory contributions for their employees. These private sector debts, coupled with other monies owed by the Government itself, have put the institution in a serious financial crisis. The names of the companies, mainly nationally owned plantations, were passed to President Laura Chinchilla by a citizen, Roberto Mora Salazar, who is well known for exposing employers who fail to pay over the contributions deducted from employees' wages.

Last week Attorney General ordered an investigation into the legal sanctions that can be applied to employers' who have failed to hand over workers' contributions to the CCSS.

Roberto Mora Salazar noted that banana workers and their families have recourse to health services more than most. The CCSS continues to give people services, but the employers' failure to pay their dues is "catastrophic", Mora told the press.

The biggest debtor is the Guapiles-based Compania Agricola Frutas del Atlantico, owing nearly US $1.7 million as of 1st July.

Source:, San José, 26th July.