Thousands of Nicaraguan rural workers have been camping in front of the National Assembly for over two months to demand job security and justice for the victims of the pesticide Nemagon.
At least one thousand Nicaraguans have died and over 100,000 suffer from the effects of Nemagon, including dermatitis, reproductive disorders and cancer.
Workers are committed to maintaining their encampment until the government takes action to compensate workers. Multinationals Dole and chemical companies Dow and Shell owe compensation but have failed to pay a penny.
Tens of thousands of plantation workers and small farmers also stand to lose their livelihoods if the European Union (EU) introduces a single tariff system in January 2006. Currently the EU has a system of tariffs, quotas and licences. Unions are calling for the current regime to be maintained until a system to support socially and environmentally sustainable production can be introduced.
Nicaraguan unions Fetrabach and ATC O report continual harassment and repression of trade union members and organisers. Some plantations have forbidden unions while others have sacked organisers and elected leaders.
UK campaign Banana Link, which has strong links with Caribbean unions, is calling for solidarity in their campaign.
More info: Banana Link