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Fyffes accused of failing to protect workers from abuse

15 February 2016

A trade union has called for banana processor Fyffes to be ejected from the Ethical Trade Initiative over failing to protect workers.

The GMB, which has 630,000 members across the UK, said Fyffes did not care for the rights of workers at plantations in Honduras and Costa Rica.

According to the union, 14 workers on a melon plantation that is 60 per cent owned by Fyffes’  subsidiary Suragroh were allegedly hospitalised after failing to receive adequate safety gear to protect them from noxious chemicals. 

In addition, it claimed workers were not paid the minimum wage and were denied overtime. 

GMB international officer Bert Schouwenburg said: “Fyffes is an appalling employer that cares nothing for its workers who toil in boiling heat to produce the fruit that makes the company’s profits. 

“They have no respect for domestic or international law governing workers’ rights and must be brought to book.”

The GMB is pushing for the fruit seller to be ejected from the ETI, a body which promotes workers rights around the world. 

Peter McAllister, the ETI’s executive director said: “We take all allegations very seriously. When issues are raised and there are local processes in place such as mediation and negotiation agreements, members are expected to work together and use those processes to get resolution.”

Fyffes has declined to comment on the allegations. 

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