The world's largest grower and supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables, Dole Food Company Inc., is attacking the National Federation of Labor (NLF) in the Philippines in order to force the union to withdraw its support from SEARBAI, and agrarian reform cooperative, and its supporting NGO, FARM.
With support from FARM, the cooperative SEARBAI is negotiating with Dole Food Company over the price of bananas. Dole Food Company is trying to force the cooperative to accept a low contract price which would mean that SEARBAI would have to sell bananas at a loss like other cooperatives that Dole buys from. To weaken the position of the cooperative, Dole is attacking the NLF by using an outstanding financial settlement over a strike declared illegal in 1989 to confiscate union dues and to seize the property and buildings of NLF, including the union's educational facilities. Dole is not really interested in the money NLF must pay in damages, but is in fact using this to demand that the union break its ties with SEARBAI and FARM.
The NLF is strongly resisting this pressure from Dole Food Company and has stated that: "Even if it meant the end of its existence, the NFL will not let go its principles."
We encourage labour and human rights organisations, consumer organisations, and development NGOs to join the protest against this action by Dole Food Company. Please send protest letters demanding the following:
1. That Dole Food Company and its subsidiary in the Philippines, Stanfilco, stop its unfair attack on the NLF and immediately seek a fair and reasonable settlement with the NLF.
2. Dole Food Company and its subsidiary, Stanfilco, have no right to interfere in the operation of SEARBAI and FARM and must respect the right of the cooperative to receive support from any non-governmental organisation it chooses.
3. Dole Food Company must end its practice of forcing cooperatives and local suppliers to sell their produce at a loss.
4. Dole Food Company must meet these demands if they wish to avoid public protest and consumer action.
Please send protest letters to:
Mr David Murdock
Chairman and CEO
Dole Food Company, Inc.
31365 Oak Crest Drive,
Westlake, CA 91361, USA
Fax: 1 818 879 6615
Check out Dole Food Company Inc's Web Page:
Especially its Asian operations:
PLEASE ALSO SEND PROTEST EMAILS TO DOLE'S FANMAIL BOX:
Please send copies of protest letters and messages of solidarity to: Mr Armando Alforque, General Secretary, National Federation of Labor (NFL), Philippines, Fax: 63 2 928 10 50 or email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass on your solidarity messages.
NLF is an affiliate of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF). For more information on this campaign please contact:
Mr Ron Oswald, General Secretary, IUF, Switzerland, Fax: 41 22 793 22 38, Email: email@example.com or in the Asia-Pacific region contact Mr Ma Wei Pin, IUF Asia Pacific, Sydney, Australia, Fax: 612 9261 8539, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asia Monitor Resource Center