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Date: Sun, 4 Oct 98 12:52:55 CDT
From: rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Centr-Am News 10/3/98
Article: 44496
Message-ID: <bulk.29591.19981005061616@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

/** reg.nicaragua: 42.0 **
** Topic: Centr-Am News 10/3/98 **
** Written 7:05 PM Oct 3, 1998 by wnu in cdp:reg.nicaragua **

Nicaraguan Banana Workers on Strike

Centr-Am News, issue XXVIII, week of September 20 - October 3, 1998

National Assembly deputy and president of Nicaraguan Banana Workers (Trabanic) said all attempts at negotiations have been exhausted. "This is a fair demand by the working class, since during the negotiation process the bosses offered only a 30-cent increase over the current wage," Garcia explained.

The workers are prepared for an indefinite strike, said Garcia, but it would only be on these eight plantations, as on others the salaries have been increased and the quality of the food has been improved.

Plantation owners say the strike is illegal because the workers already earn more than the minimum wage required by law. They are backed by Maria Isabel Arguello, President of the Nicaraguan Banana Producers Enterprise, S.A., (Probanic). "This is a strike without a legal basis," said Arguello. She also said police have been called in, since, on one of the plantations, a laborer who chose not to participate in the strike was hurt. On September 29 the Labor Inspector General declared the strike "illegal, illicit and inexistent." Labor Minister Wilfredo Navarro said the workers did not follow appropriate legal procedures, and that the labor leaders know what has to be done in order for the strike not to be declared illegal. According to Labor Inspector General Emilio Noguera, the workers had to return to their jobs on September 30 or they would face dismissal.

Plantation owners said striking workers must return to their labors or the owners would be forced to fire them and hire new workers. They claim the workers are already earning double the 300 cordoba ($30) [per month] minimum required by law. (La Tribuna, Managua, 9/29, 30/98)

Weekly News Update on the Americas * Nicaragua Solidarity Network of NY 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 * 212-674-9499 fax: 212-674-9139 http://home.earthlink.net/~dbwilson/wnuhome.html * wnu@igc.apc.org

[Centr-Am News is produced weekly by Toby Mailman and is distributed by the Weekly News Update on the Americas free to Update email subscribers who request it. Editorial questions or comments should be addressed to Toby Mailman c/o the Update at <wnu@igc.org>.]