Workers at Dole’s Megabanana plantation division in Babahoyo, Los Ríos, Ecuador will see better benefits and rights than other plantation workers in the country, thanks to a new collective contract just signed between the company and the Comité de Empresa de Los Trabajadores de La Compañía Megabanana S.A, the trade union work council and bargaining agent under Ecuadorian law.
The two year agreement, reached with the participation of the Minister of Labour, will see improvements to wages (above the country’s minimum wage), working hours, overtime payments and holidays, in particular:
- A basic minimum wage of $14.88 per day, higher than Government of Ecuador statutory minimum wage of $13.13 for an 8 hour day.
- Respect for the 8-hour day, with payment for working overtime, along with respect for holidays and sundays.
In addition, the following bonuses will be available to workers:
- Family allowance for up to 4 relatives
- $3.25 per month for educational support
- $30, for certificate of enrolment in school and college
- $45 per year for length of service
- $35 for each worker on 1st May
- $55 for Christmas basket for each worker
- $30 holiday bonus per worker
- $7,000 sickness insurance and work accident coverage
- $7,000 for natural death
- $14,000 for accidental death to direct family members
- $3,000 for the death of wife, son or daughter
- $4,500 per anniversary of the works council.
The union negotiating committee with company management. Photo courtesy of SINUTRABE/COLSIBA
Gilbert Bermudez of the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana Unions (COLSIBA) welcomed the agreement, saying:
“this is of great importance for the workers who will for the next two years enjoy significant benefits and rights that other workers in this sector do not currently enjoy in this country. It demonstrates the importance of independent trade unions in negotiating on behalf of plantation workers”.