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Ecuadorian banana workers report bad wages and job security situation

Workers in the Ecuadorian banana industry have reported rapid downward pressure on wages and contractual conditions on plantations as result of the availability in the country of cheap migrant labor from Venezuela.

For instance, workers in El Oro province, members of the Asociación 12 de Octubre de Trabajadores Bananeros del Canton de Pasaje affiliated to the national federation SINUTRABE, have reported a drastic effect on wages in their area. Male workers who were previously earning up to $40 a day are now earning $25 for the same job, whilst women casual workers employed in packhouses who were previously taking home $15-18 a day are earning $10-12 today. Where many used to be hired for four or five days a week, they are only being hired for two or three days now. Where workers had permanent contracts, increasing numbers are now hired on ad hoc basis.

This loss of job security is directly related to the introduction of legislation that increased the “flexibilisation” of labour, enacted by the Moreno government in 2020 under the guise of the “Humanitarian Law” during the worst days of the pandemic in 2020, according to the Association.


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