”Thanks to Fair Trade, I’ve learned about workers’ rights”

Eloy Moreno.

Eloy Moreno.

– I’m new in Fair Trade, but during the first year I’ve learned a lot about social security and workers’ rights. It’s good foor me and my employees to learn more. I used to know so little, but that’s also because of the country. In Ecuador it’s like that.

Eloy Moreno in Arenillas is new in Asoguabo. He’s only been a member for three years. He used to sell to different banana companies off his farm of eight hectares.

He also likes the decision making process in Asoguabo, where all the farmers meet at least twice a year in the association’s highest decision making organ, the Asemblea general.

– We can have opinions about anything. In the Asemblea we discuss everything and everyone can say their opinion.

Just like the other farmers, it was the economic stability that appealed to Eloy when he joined.

– The same price all year. But I think the price should be one dollar more per box, because the cost of production is so high. But I guess you’re never satisfied, he says with a laugh.

Asoguabo pays 5,05 dollars a box for conventional bananas.

Eloy Moreno also likes the cooperation within the group of farmers.

Moreno wants a warehouse with banana boxes in Arenillas. Today, he picks them up in El Guabo.

Moreno wants a warehouse with banana boxes in Arenillas. Today, he picks them up in El Guabo.

– We help each other out. For instance, if I need boxes, I can borrow from my neighbour. But I wish Asoguabo would have a warehouse with boxes in Arenillas. It takes an hour and a half to drive to El Guabo, and that’s a long way if you happen to be missing 15 boxes!

The Fair Trade norms on workers’ rights

  • – Prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, colour, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, religion, political views, trade union affiliation, nationality or social group when it comes to employment, promotion, access to capacitation, salary, tasks, firing, retirement or anything else.
  • – Prohibit sexual harassment, corporal punishment, force and verbal abuse.
  • – Prohibit forced labour as a way to pay off debt.
  • – Prohibit children under the age of 15 to work, with the exception of farmers’ children helping their parents. I that case, the work cannot affect their school work or health.
  • – Children under the age of 18 år can work if the job doesn’t affect their school or health.
  • – All employees have the right to organise in a labour union and meet without being disturbed. If they aren’t organised, they should be encouraged. The participation of the employees should be promoted by capacitations.
  • – The wages and the working conditions should fulfil the conditions of the sectoral agreements, the regional average or the official minimum wage, whichever is the highest. In time, they should exceed that level.
  • – The wages must be specified for each task.
  • – The wages must be paid regularly and be documented.
  • – All employees must have a written contract and a right to sick leave.
  • – The work hours must be regulated.
  • – The job must be done by permanent employees, as far as possible.
  • – All employees, permanent or temporary, receive the same wages and benefits for the same job.
  • – The working process must be as safe as possible.
  • – Dangerous tasks cannot be performed by children under 18, pregnant or lactating women, persons with chronic diseases of the kindeys or liver or pulmonary diseases, or by developmentally challenged people.
  • – Some employees must be trained in first aid.
  • – All employees must have access to drinking water and clean toilets and showers.
  • – Employees with dangerous tasks must be trained for them.
  • – Employees handling dangerous chemicals must be provided with protective equipment.
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