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Sitio Nuevo plantation is sacking and harressing workers

Action Alert

Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust has been informed about the abuses that are taking palce at Sitio Nuevo plantation in Ecuador. In particular, pesticides are being sprayed on fruits in the presence of workers who cannot adequetly protect themselves from such harmful chemicals (video below).

 

Koperattiva Kummercċ Ġust encourages all interested to take the petition below and email it to the persons concered to that action is taken to stop this abuse on workers in Ecuador.

 


PETITION

TO:

Dr. Ramiro Rivadeneira Silva  (Defensor del Pueblo) rrivadeneira@dpe.gob.ec

Dr. Patricio Benalcazar (Associate for Human and Environmental Rights) pbenalcazar@dpe.gob.ec

Dra. Marcia Alexandra Cárdenas (National Director for Community and Environmental Rights) mcardenas@dpe.gob.ec

Dr. Leonardo Berrezueta (Ministry of Labour) leonardo_berrezueta@trabajo.gob.ec

Dr. Gustavo Jalkh (President of the Consejo de la Judicatura) Gustavo.Jalkh@funcionjudicial.gob.ec

Eduardo Ledesma (Executive Director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE)) eledesma@aebe.com.ec

DILANDECSA, member of the MANOBANDA group delindecsa@grupomanobanda.com

 

Dear Sirs and Ladies,

our international development organization fights for the respect for human rights, against worldwide poverty and injustice, with a focus on the banana sector, which is of high importance for many media and for the consumers in our country.

As name of your organization we express our deepest concerns regarding the persecution of ASTAC members by Manobal, a company owning various banana plantations that is part of the Manobanda group, and which also owns the exporter DELINDECSA. On 18 November 2016, plantation workers working for Manobal reported that they had been airsprayed with pesticides while they were having lunch at the “Sitio Nuevo” plantation. This incident was video recorded.

Due to this severe violation of the workers' right to health, ASTAC had forwarded the complaint to Dr. Marcia Alexandra Cárdenas, National Director of Community Rights, Nature and Environment of the Defensoria del Pueblo, who anounced in No. 023- 2016-DPE-DNDCNA-JMR that there would be  an inspection visit on the “Sitio Nuevo” farm on 22 December 2016.

The Defensoria del Pueblo, representatives of various ministries, institutions and of ASTAC attended the inspection visit. The results were reported to Dr. Alexandra Cárdenas and to the lawyer Mr. Francisco Rodríguez Toaza, specialist on Human and Environmental rights of the Delegación Provincial de Los Ríos de la Defensoria del Pueblo. Within the inspectation visit, the workers' accusations have proven to be true.

From this day on, the MANOBAL company, far from compensating the workers for the damages it has caused, started to dismiss several workers, 21 until now. According to the contact person of ASTAC, the company has threatened through its administrator Jorge de la Cruz that it will dismiss  all of the workers who are members of ASTAC and that it will ensure that none of them will be employed by any other plantation. This is already happening: other banana companies are screening workers and have threatened not to employ any person living in the area of San Pedro de la Y and San Simón who are ASTAC members.

The export company DELINDECSA belongs to the Manobanda group that is disregarding workers' rights as reported above and is a member of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (Asociación de Exportadores de Bananos de Ecuador (AEBE)). We would like to draw your attention to the fact that DELINDECSA has given its word to international market operators that human, workers' and environmental rights are being respected on banana plantations in Ecuador. It is also important to remember that (since the beginning of 2017) Ecuador has a trade agreement with the European Union in which both parties have agreed to respect human, labour and environmental rights and to fulfil all conventions of the ILO that have been ratified by Ecuador - especially in the context of production for exports to the European Union, such as in the banana sector.

We ask the Ecuadorian state and its institutions such as the Defensoria del Pueblo, the Consejo de la Judicatura, the Labour Ministry and the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security, to supervise the initiated processes and on the processes that will be initiated by ASTAC within the next days, and to guarantee the physical integrity of the members of ASTAC.

We reject the persecution of workers, the dismissals of 21 workers for having joint a trade union and we call for their immediate re-employment. Name of your organisation has been cooperating for several years with ASTAC, its representatives have visited name of your country and met members of the parliament, journalists, trade unionists, consumers, representatives of supermarket chains, and representatives of several ministries. We support the activities that have been initiated by ASTAC in order to defend human rights. Both the managers of Manobanda and the Ecuadorian state authorities are responsible for the security and integrity of the members and leaders of ASTAC who reported the grave situation.

We are looking forward to further information on the steps you are going to take to improve the situation both for workers and for trade union members in Ecuador and specifically in this case.

Yours sincerely,

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Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust Ltd

306, il-Ħanut l-Arka,
Triq San Pawl,
il-Belt Valletta,

Malta VLT 1213

Tel: +356 2124 4865
Email: info@l-arka.org

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