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Guatemala: Following pressure from NGOs, Legumex factory signs agreement to take steps to reduce child labour

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27 March 2007

Agreement Signed at Legumex/Guatemala!

Author: National Labor Committee [USA]

Human rights organization, CEADEL [met] Legumex management which resulted in an agreement that will bring many significant and positive changes to the Legumex factory...The main points [include]: Twenty-four 13-year-old children who worked at the Legumex plant will receive a stipend to return to school…Legumex will adopt the United Nations Convention establishing the legal working age at 15…Health and safety improvements will be made...CEADEL representatives will have…access to the Legumex plant…to review factory conditions and speak with the workers…Superior Foods [and Inn Foods]...played a very positive role...to encourage these changes...[also refers to Sysco]

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12 March 2007

Bush to Press Free Trade in a Place Where Young Children Still Cut the Cane [Guatemala]

Author: Marc Lacey, New York Times

At some factories exporting to the United States, [children] sew and sort and chop, often in conditions so onerous they violate even Guatemala’s very loose labor laws...The [US] State Department acknowledged…that [in Guatemala] “child labor was a widespread and serious problem”…The National Labor Committee...interviewed child workers in the area. The group focused on Legumex, a factory that exports…fruits and vegetables to the United States, and in a report [‘Harvest of Shame’]…accuses it of violating a host of labor laws, including employing children, some as young as 13, for shifts longer than permitted…But at Legumex, executives…insisted that they were complying with labor laws [and]…did not employ children under 18 without parental permission...

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12 March 2007

[PDF] Harvest of Shame

Author: National Labor Committee and Center for Studies and Support for Local Development

[Report focuses on Legumex Agro-industrial Factory (formerly Tierra Fría). Its buyers include Superior food, Sysco, U.S. Food Service, Inn Foods, Ardo UK and Ardo NV, Patterson Frozen foods, Contessa, KGS, Findus Sverige AB, Melzer. Also refers to Arlusa, Inprocsa and Dong Bang]

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