On November 13 in Medellín, Banacol, Colombia’s largest banana producer, the IUF-affiliated agricultural workers union SINTRAINAGRO and IUF Latin America signed a Letter of Commitment pledging to employ an additional 400 women workers on Banacol’s plantations by 2020, boosting women’s participation in the company’s employment from the current 10.7 percent to 19.90 percent. The agreement reaffirms their joint commitment to promoting the principle of equal opportunity by increasing the participation of women in the company’s operations, and follows on the collective agreement signed in September.
In a region where the political violence of past decades has left a large number of homes with a female head of household, this change will greatly enhance the quality of life for 400 families. IUF Latin American regional President Norberto Latorre, who was unable to travel to Medellín for reasons beyond his control, warmly welcomed this historic initiative.
The decision to increase the number of women workers highlights the excellent relationship between the company and the trade union, but also marks a clear trend toward the growing inclusion of women in all aspects of life, in the workforce and in social, political, and union life.
Left to right: SINTRAINAGRO President Guillermo Rivera, IUF Latin America Regional Secretary Gerardo Iglesias, Victor Manuel Henriquez R and Victor Henriquez Velásquez (Banacol)