San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Striking banana workers await word from U.S. on their demands

Hundreds of striking workers for the Banana Development Company, or Bandeco, a Costa Rican subsidiary of the U.S. multinational company Del Monte, waited for news on Monday if the company would meet their demands, the Costa Rican newspaper El País reported.

The 650 Bandeco workers began their strike on June 5 to protest the firing of 59 employees who participated in a 2011 strike that a judge recently ruled illegal, the daily La Nación added. The Public and Private Workers’ Union, Sitepp in Spanish, demanded the workers be reinstated and no action be taken against them or the union, Sitepp negotiator Luis Serrano told El País. Some of those fired were members of the banana workers union, added Diario Extra.

Luis Gómez, Del Monte’s legal representative, told La Nación that the company stands by its decision to fire the workers.

The strike has paralyzed the operations of three Bandeco farms in Daytonia de Sixaola. Frustrated by the lack of progress from the negotiations in San José, some 200 banana workers blocked the main streets of Sixaola, near the border with Panama, last Thursday and Friday, Diario Extra reported. 

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