In the 18 months since it was signed on June 14, 2001 the IUF/COLSIBA/Chiquita Rights Agreement has now produced concrete advances for banana workers working for Chiquita and its suppliers in at least two countries.
In Colombia, SINTRAINAGRO has used the agreement to recruit over 800 new members and establish new branches in the Magdalena region. Workers had been without a union in the region and the agreement was successfully used by the union to ensure company neutrality during its unionization campaign and a constructive approach by plantation managements once it entered negotiations for the first collective agreements. Five new collective agreements were signed in December 2002 for these plantations. The agreements bring significantly improved terms and conditions and rights to SINTRAINAGRO’s newly recruited members.
In Honduras, IUF affiliate SITRATERCO has used the agreement successfully to organize a major Chiquita supplier, Buenos Amigos. The agreement ensured that Chiquita made it clear to its supplier running this plantation that it expected the supplier to recognize and respect the standards laid out in the agreement. As a result SITRATERCO found organizing Buenos Amigos more straightforward and were able to gone on to successfully negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with this Chiquita supplier.