Fighting for worker justice in the global economy.
On International Women’s Day, Honduran Banana Workers Union Slams Conditions in Melon Sector
An investigative report released today, International Women’s Day, found that 85% of the largely female workforce in the Honduran melon industry are not paid the legal minimum wage; 20% of women surveyed reported having to take a pregnancy test before being hired; 100% of workers surveyed were on temporary contracts.
The report, produced jointly by the Coordination of Banana Unions in Honduras (COSIBAH) and the International Labor Rights Forum, also found workers putting in twelve to fourteen hour work days, seven days a week, with no overtime pay; haviang no access to social security, in violation of the law; and being exposed to dangerous chemicals and inhumane working conditions.
COSIBAH is asking for international solidarity now to support justice for melon workers in Honduras.
Anti-union attitudes combined with the seasonal nature of melon work has kept the sector virtually non-union, with only one union formed at Suragro, owned largely by the Irish company Fyffes, with less than 100 members.
Approximately 25,000 workers in southern Honduras work in the melon sector which exports to the U.S. COSIBAH has called for an international campaign in support of the melon workers; the campaign is being supported by ILRF, Stitch, Make Fruit Fair, USLEAP, and others.
Take action now
Sign a petition in English or a longer one in Spanish addressed to Fyffes and the Honduran government urging that they take immediate steps to ensure that the largely female workforce in the Honduran melon industry is paid at least the legal minimum wage, that basic worker rights are respected, and that companies abide by national law and international standards.
Check out our collaborative labor rights blog, Labor is Not a Commodity!