Banana Growers Go on Strike in Costa Rica

The violation of labor rights in three banana plantations in the southern border of the country, maintained on Tuesday the strike of hundreds of workers in the Del Monte Agricultural Corporation S.A.

According to Jose Maria Villalta, a member of the left-wing Broad Front, the situation of indigenous Costa Ricans and Panamanians is critical.

The company reduced their wages, did not recognize their overtime, blocked their credit in the company store, and applied wage deductions for days on strike, Villalta told the Prensa Libre newspaper on Tuesday.

The conflict, which began more than a month ago, affects plantations in the Caribbean area of Sixaola, close to the Panamanian border.

For the moment, the Banana Development Corporation of Costa Rica (Bandeco), a subsidiary of the Del Monte Corporation of the United States, refuses to grant a dialogue requested by the workers.

The Del Monte company operates in nearly a dozen Latin American countries including Costa Rica and Guatemala, while trading bananas, melons and pineapples for the U.S. retail market.

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