On September 12th, Colombian trade union Sintrainagro concluded negotiations with banana producers Augura, which will see 22,000 plantation workers receive an above-inflation pay deal in the world’s fourth-largest banana exporting country.
With inflation currently at 3.75%, and predicted to drop to 3.30% next year, the workers will receive an effective pay increase of 5.5% in the first year of the two year pay deal. Then, in the second year, they will receive a rise equivalent to the increase in the Cost of Living Index. Additionally, each worker who is a member of Sintrainagro will receive a one-off premium payment of $550 next month.
According to bananalink.org.uk, this latest deal is testament to the organising strength of Sintrainagro and the positive relationship they have fostered with Augura which sees its members’ terms and conditions contrasting favourably with those endured by their counterparts elsewhere in Latin America.
With an approach known as “social unionism”, the relationship goes beyond wage bargaining and addresses the wider necessities of the workers’ communities by more extensive co-operating with employers and municipal authorities.