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Serious dispute at cardboard company in Honduras

29 October, 2013IndustriALL has offered its solidarity to 70 members of its Honduran affiliate, the FITH. They were sacked for protesting at the anti-trade union actions taken by their employer, the Korean cardboard company, Corporación Cartonera 3j Fenix, located in Villanueva, a municipality in the department of Cortés. IndustriALL has called on the Ministry of Labour to intervene and resolve the dispute.

When the workers formed a trade union one year ago in response to the abuses to which they were subjected, including non-payment of the minimum wage, the company made their life a misery. It transferred their leaders to very hot workplaces, exposed to the sun and without access to water; forced them to unload containers even though this work was not stipulated in their employment contracts; and locked them out if they arrived one minute after their scheduled starting time of 7am, meaning that they lost a day’s pay and a weekly bonus.

On 15 August this year, in protest at the company’s unfair treatment, all the workers decided to report for work at 7.15am

The company closed the gates and, in the following days, sacked about 70 workers without paying the benefits due to them. The company suspended the members of the union’s executive committee on full pay while it applies to the labour courts for authorisation to dismiss them.

In response to the company’s non-payment of the minimum wage, the union has lodged a complaint with the labour courts and asked them to impose a pay rise to cover the last two years.

IndustriALL Global Union has written to the government of Honduras, through the Ministry of Labour, demanding that it tries again to promote negotiations between the two parties with a view to resolving the dispute.