Banana Link is working in partnership with the Fako Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU), which organises plantation workers in the South West Province of Cameroon, to deliver a project to educate and empower banana workers and their union.
As investment increases in export production in Central and West Africa, Banana Link is strengthening relationships with African unions to address concerns that plantation jobs do not provide Decent Work. A visit as part of our Make Fruit Fair! project to Cameroon in 2011 convinced us of the need to support the Cameroonian union, FAWU, to educate workers about their labour rights and empower their union representatives to work on their behalf to secure better wages and conditions.
The banana sector is the fifth largest export earner in Cameroon, employing 15,000 workers, most of whom are employed by the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), the largest private employer in the country. The huge fruit multinational, Del Monte, currently buys and markets CDC bananas, all of which are exported to Europe, including the UK.
Many workers are not paid enough to meet their basic household needs, suffer from poor housing provision and sanitation as well as a lack of safe drinking water in the community and workplace. They are work long hours undertaking extremely physically demanding tasks in tropical conditions and are routinley exposed to toxic agrochemicals.
Find out more about our project to ‘Educate and empower workers and their union to improve livelihoods in Cameroon, watch videos of conditions and make a donation HERE!