Tropical fruit ain’t all summer fun

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Natural Resources, Rights around the world
Tags: , , , ,
Pineapple on its plant, Costa Rica

Image via Wikipedia

This brief video gives an insight into life on the Costa Rican plantations that supply a quarter of the bananas and three-quarters of the pineapples sold in Europe.

Since this film was made, twenty-five local pineapple workers were sacked for joining their trade union ANEP. They were employed by Bana Internacional Arero and Natura Farms LWO [unrelated to the Minnesota company of the same name].

They sought the protection of the union to assist with noncompliances including:

  • failing to register contractors for health and social security
  • not allowing holidays
  • not paying the thirteenth month (because wages are four-weekly)
  • not paying overtime
  • paying migrants less than the minimum wage
  • use of the chemical Carbofuran, which is banned on imports by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency
Their case has been taken up by the country’s opposition political party, who have asserted that the Ministry of Labour has been asleep at the wheel. Costa Rica’s government has also been criticised by the ILO for its failure to uphold the right the free association.


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