From: Banana Link []

Sent: 18 April 2002 14:56 PM


Importance: High


Dear friends,


We have received a request for urgent action directed at Dole Food Company,

owners of the Empresa Agricola Eufemia which comprises four banana

plantations in the Magdalena region of Colombia.


The SINTRAINAGRO union has been trying to organise banana workers in the

region, despite the murder of dozens of its members and leaders. They have

appealed for international solidarity in the face of Dole's increasingly

aggressive attacks on the basic rights of plantation workers who have been

organising through SINTRAINAGRO.


SINTRAINAGRO report that on the four plantations which make up the Empresa

Agricola Eufemia - Teresa, Olga, Circasia and Bomba - workers have been

pressurised into having nothing to do with the union and sacked if they

refuse to give up their membership. According to the union, other workers

have been fired for demanding health and safety equipment and that Dole's

anti-union tactics have multiplied in recent weeks as the union seeks to

negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the company.


On the international stage, Dole has made much play of its progressive

attitude to banana workers' rights, but on the ground in many countries

where the world's biggest banana company operates the reality is very

different. It is important to signal that in the case of the Eufemia workers

the company is violating the following ILO conventions, all ratified by the

Colombian government:


- Convention 87 on the right to organise trade unions

- Convention 98 on the right to collective bargaining

- Convention 135 on the protection of trade union representatives

- Conventions 100 and 111 on non-discrimination towards women workers


You are asked to write to Dole's Chief Executive Officer, David H. Murdock,

at their Headquarters in California asking the company to respect both

Colombian labour law and the international labour conventions with which

they claim to comply in all their operations.


His fax number is: +1 818 879 6807.


You could also copy it to Ms Freya Maneki, Director of Corporate

Communications on +1 818 879 6602.


If you receive a reply from Dole, we would be grateful to receive a copy at

Banana Link.


Thank you in advance for your swift action.




The Banana Link Team


Banana Link

38-40 Exchange Street


NR2 1AX, Britain

Tel: (44) 1603 765670

Fax: (44) 1603 761645