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From clr@igc.apc.org Wed Mar 1 10:58:00 2000
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 10:03:46 -0600 (CST)
From: Campaign for Labor Rights <clr@igc.apc.org>
Subject: Del Monte update 2-28-00
Article: 90115
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
X-UIDL: 605396eaff8bc1584dd53c33522c1ec0

Del Monte Update: Negotiations begin

Labor Alerts, 28 February 2000

Del Monte's subsidiary in Guatemala has begun to sit down with other key players to discuss a case which has now become an international scandal. Three sources of pressure appear to have been crucial in bringing Bandegua (the Del Monte subsidiary) to the table:

  • International pressure on Del Monte. The company's interest in finding a resolution of the conflict underscores the importance of keeping up the pressure on the U.S.-based Del Monte company.
  • U.S. pressure on the government of Guatemala. Guatemala remains under a cloud with regard to its trade relations with the U.S. The U.S. Trade Representative's office has not yet announced whether it will put Guatemala's Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits on probation because of the impunity enjoyed by those who engaged in violent intimidation of banana workers in Morales, Guatemala.
  • The efforts of a new Labor Minister in Guatemala, Juan Francisco Alfaro Mijangos, who began negotiating with the company in mid-January. The new Labor Minister was formerly the General Secretary of CUSG, the union confederation to which the banana worker union SITRABI is affiliated.

It remains to be seen what these negotiations will achieve. Activists are urged to stand ready for a call to escalate the Del Monte campaign if negotiations fail to settle the conflict soon. In the meantime, please continue to ask local produce managers to take Del Monte bananas off the shelves for any two-week period to put pressure on the company.

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