This week marks the first anniversary of the filing of a CAFTA labor complaint on Honduras on March 26, 2012. The complaint, submitted by two dozen Honduran unions and NGOs along with the AFL-CIO, documents the failure of the Honduran government to enforce its own labor laws, providing multiple cases of violations in the maquila, agricultural export, and port sectors.
March 22 Update.Take Action Now. Workers reported this week that plain clothes security guards, employed by the company, have boarded buses that carry workers to the plantation, and with guns in hand, have threatened to kill workers if they support the union and join a peaceful protest that started on March 6. Fired union workers are engaging in the protest; the threat of violence forced t
Banana unions in Latin America have asked for support on International Women’s Day 2013 (March 8) for union workers at the Three Sisters (Tres Hermanas) plantations in Honduras.
Workers report that they formed the Sitrainba union in response to the company’s failure to pay the minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and other violations. The union was officially recognized by the Honduran government in August 2012 but management has refused to bargain with the union and instead fired union workers.
North American unions and worker rights supporters are joining together to support worker rights in Mexico during the week-long international Days of Action from February 18-24. March Update: For a summary of events that took place during Global Days of Action, see the March issue of Mexican Labor News and Analysis.
In February, unions representing apparel workers in over a half-dozen different countries in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East announced the formation of the International Union League for Brand Responsibility. The League is a new initiative that seeks to hold apparel brands fully accountable for working conditions and basic rights in their supply chain.
On December 11, a day after International Human Rights Day, the Colombian Congress approved a controversial measure that is expected to move jurisdiction over most human rights crimes (including murders of trade unionists) committed by military forces from civilian courts to military tribunals.
The Mexican Congress pushed through a labor law package in a lame duck session in November 2012 that has been praised by employers and blasted by unions. Final approval came despite massive protests by Mexican labor unions, supported by international interventions, including a U.S. congressional letter initiated by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).