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Labor Unrest Is Erupting on Honduran Plantations—And Rattling the Global Supply Chain

…[I]n the past few months, a surge of political action has erupted in Honduran plantations, as workers battle for union rights and rattle the global agricultural supply chain. Melon farmworkers had been pushing for a union contract with the Irish agribusiness Fyffes for more than two years, after the establishment of STAS (El Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares), a branch of the labor federation FESTAGRO. In partnership with the global labor advocacy group International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), the union demanded full compliance with both domestic and international labor laws, accusing the company of systematic minimum-wage violations and denial of social insurance benefits… Fyffes appeared to relent, agreeing, at least on paper, to begin collective-bargaining negotiations with STAS…However, as the February deadline for the start of talks approached, ILRF accused Fyffes of stalling and lagging on a promise to reinstate unfairly dismissed workers. On February 12, ILRF reported that the company had “completely reneged on the agreement” and failed to respond to the workers’ grievances. Fyffe runs operations in Honduras through the subsidiary farm Suragroh…The violations had been festering for years. Labor advocates around the world have long condemned the treatment of the Suragroh workers…