Date: Jul 09, 2019
Things in Honduras are getting uglier by the day. Unchecked military and police forces continue attacking and even killing civilians—including doctors, students, and teachers protesting for their rights. The government keeps trying to muzzle journalists and human rights defenders. And corruption and drug trafficking allegations against high-level officials and the president’s immediate family are further fueling the fire. All the while the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa has done nothing but praise the Honduran government (except when talking about its failure to prevent Hondurans from fleeing to the United States).
We can’t sit idly by while Hondurans risk everything to defend their rights—especially because our own government had a hand in the making of this crisis. And while Honduras’ democracy can’t be restored overnight, there are smaller-scale actions we can take TODAY to uphold human rights in the country.
Here’s what you can do TODAY:
Ask Congress to Support Labor Rights in Honduras!
The Honduran agriculture workers union STAS has tried for years to legally unionize workers at Fyffes-Sol and Grupo Jaremar—a melon producer that exports most of its crops to the United States and a palm oil company, respectively—to address the companies’ many labor violations, which include rampant wage theft and exposure to toxic pesticides. Yet, instead of supporting the workers’ right to fair wages and safe work environments, the Honduran government has aligned with Fyffes-Sol and Grupo Jaremar in their effort to bust the unions: Labor Minister Carlos Madero issued a decision to dissolve the budding union at the Fyffes-Sol plantations AND then recognized and registered employer-dominated unions.
The Honduran government’s move to undermine workers’ rights is in direct violation of the Honduran Constitution and Labor Code, the labor rights chapter of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), as well as the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions that protect workers’ rights to freedom of association, organizing, and collective bargaining. Don’t wait! Take action NOW >>
The U.S. government has been disturbingly silent about these violations (and many others!). But fortunately, Congress is taking a step forward to right this wrong. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) is currently circulating a “dear colleague” letter on labor rights violations in Honduras, highlighting the STAS union cases in the melon and palm oil sectors. The letter urges Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to hold the Honduran Labor Ministry accountable for undermining labor rights and violating the human rights provisions in the CAFTA agreement.
Calling your members of Congress is the best way to get them to listen to you! You can use the script below as a guide:
Script: “Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m a constituent from [YOUR CITY]. I’m calling to urge [YOUR REP’S NAME] to sign onto a dear colleague letter in support of labor rights in Honduras. Please contact Kate Durkin in Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s office to add [YOUR REP’S NAME] to the letter. The letter closes this Friday, July 12, so please make sure to sign on before then. Thank you for your time and attention!”
Once you’ve called your member’s office, click here to email them!
We will keep sending you updates on how to take action to support the Honduran people—so stay tuned!