Environment Magazine

Rainforest Alliance Sells Out Banana Workers

Posted on the 27 September 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

from ILRF

Rainforest Alliance recently recertified the Tres Hermanas banana plantations in Honduras as “sustainable,” despite years of systematic labor rights abuses.

Since 2009, workers at Tres Hermanas, a Chiquita supplier, have faced a pattern of labor rights violations, including failure to pay the minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and the illegal firing of workers attempting to form a union. To protect their rights, workers formed the union SITRAINBA, which was officially recognized by the Honduran Ministry of Labor on August 15, 2012. Rather than negotiate with the union, however, management at Tres Hermanas has waged an illegal campaign of targeted firings and harassment against union members.

Rainforest Alliance documented these abuses in its own audit, which found four major violations of Sustainable Agriculture Network Labor Standards, including of Standard 5.12, which guarantees workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain. Shockingly, Rainforest certified Tres Hermanas in spite of these violations.

Rainforest Alliance’s failure to uphold their own labor standards is not only a slap in the face to brave SITRAINBA members, but a disturbing show of support for employers who abuse worker rights. Rainforest has for years promoted that labor rights are covered in their standards, but now claims these are “voluntary elements” and violations of this clause are insufficient for decertification.  Help us tell RA to either decertify or cease the false advertising.

Sign a petition here to ask Rainforest Alliance to decertify Tres Hermanas.

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