Adela Torres, general secretary of the National Union of Agricultural Industry Workers (Sintrainagro) of Colombia, spoke recently to annual meeting of the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) Executive Committee about the work that her organisation has been developing, especially on gender issues.
“I want to refer to the agro-industrial sector in Colombia , specifically the banana industry, and talk about the struggle we face to organise workers, especially women.
We have a very big challenge for the sector on the subject of gender because it is a mainly male branch.
Through collective bargaining, we have been promoting clauses to add more women to the work of the banana farms and together with the IUF Regional, an agreement was signed last year with the company Banacol and Sintrainagro for the incorporation of 400 women.
This was a very positive step because we have achieved that many women in the region, largely heads of household, have the opportunity to work on the farms with all the benefits and guarantees offered by the collective agreement and contributions to security.
We must emphasise that most of these women do not have higher education and work on banana farms is one of the few options they have to improve the living conditions for themselves and their children.
We are currently organising for the November 25 celebration also through the IUF Regional and IUF Latin American Women’s Committee (CLAMU). We are preparing for 16 days of activism against violence against women .
We are focused on the agribusiness workers being able to carry out their work free from sexual and/or workplace harassment, unfortunately one of the most common types of violence in the sector.
These spaces that the Regional offers us strengthen us to continue in the fight for work environments free of violence ”.
Article reproduced from: http://www.rel-uita.org/colombia/por-ambientes-de-trabajo-libres-de-violencia/
Photo: Gerardo Iglesias