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Honduras Action For International Women's Day

Thursday, March 8, 2018

ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY GMB DEMANDS ACTION FROM EU OVER ABUSE OF FEMALE MELON WORKERS IN HONDURAS

International Women's Day will mean little to the poor souls in Honduras who have the misfortune to work in conditions approximating slavery says GMB.

On the eve of International Women's Day GMB has written to the European Commission demanding action over abuses against women on Fyffes' melon plantations in Honduras.

In a letter to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom the union asks her to consider sanctions. [1]

Abuse against female melon workers in the Central American republic continues unabated amidst more reports of them being poisoned by noxious chemicals. [2]

The very existence of their trade union, STAS, is under threat from the Minister of Labour's collusion with palm oil companies in the north of the country where workers have been on strike since October.

If the union is dissolved by the illegitimate Honduran government, the women in Fyffes will lose what little protection they had from the misogynistic activities of the Ethical Trade Initiative's most infamous member.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, said:

"International Women's Day will mean little to the poor souls in Honduras who have the misfortune to work in conditions approximating slavery for the Ethical Trade Initiative's most infamous member, Fyffes.

"Following the fraudulent elections at the end of last year, and emboldened by the backing of the USA and the EU, the Honduran government is colluding with employers in the palm oil sector to have the Fyffes women's trade union, STAS, dissolved by declaring a 5 month long strike illegal, which would leave the women completely defenceless.

“We have written to the European Trade Commissioner demanding that action is taken against the illegal Honduran regime in the hope that, unlike the ETI, they will take the action that is long overdue."

ENDS

Contact: Bert Schouwenburg on 07974 251764 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

[1] Letter to European Commission attached

[2] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/fyffes-poison-claims

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