Economy, tax incentives & labor conditions
By exercising their right to form a union, Guatemalans risk not only their right to work, which is one human right, but also their very lives. The violent and insecure conditions in which trade unions have to operate are not improving. Official denunciations of murders, kidnapping, attacks and raids on union offices and leaders’ homes have continued. And the authorities in charge of investigating these incidents and ensuring compliance with the law and access to justice mostly avoid taking any action or do so too late. The threat of losing their jobs has a powerful dissuasive effect on workers wishing to set up unions. However, the fear of losing their lives is the strongest possible disincentive for those trying to create, build and consolidate trade unions. Anti-union discrimination takes different forms. In addition to the extremes of assassination, attempted assassination and imprisonment, it includes dismissals of workers who attempt to set up unions, bargain collectively or carry out trade union actions. There are also blacklists of union leaders and members, and temporary plant closures. The International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) reported to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in January 2003, that it was common practice for a company to close down a plant and transfer its operations after a trade union had been established. The exercise of trade union rights remains severely hampered by hostility towards the trade unions and the failings of the legal system. Employer intimidation against trade unionists is common, and usually goes unpunished. As a result, union membership is very low - only about three per cent of the work force. This inevitably has an impact on collective bargaining, as does the requirement that 25 per cent of workers in an enterprise must be union members for bargaining to take place. Even where employers recognise the union and agree to bargaining, there is a tendency to ignore collective agreements.
, Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights
Parque Industrial Z la Union, S.A.
RDC Industria Modernas S.A.
Terminal LC, S.A.
Zona de Libre Comercio Santo Tomas de Castilla (ZOLIC)
Zona Franca Cropa, S.A.
Zona Franca Omega S.A.
Zona Franca Pelicano S.A.
Zona Franca Puerta Parada
Zonas Francas Actuales S.A.
Main violations of the human rights and dirty money laundering
2008 Chiquita Brands International Inc.
(year and company name)
2002 Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc
Main labor right violations
2008 Chiquita Brands International Inc. 87, 98
(year, company name and norm number)
2007 Ardo NV 87,98,138,1
2007 Contessa Premium Foods 87,98,138,1
2007 Findus 87,98,138,1
2007 In Foods Inc 87,98,138,1
2007 Kohl's Corp 1, 29, 87, 98
2007 Superior Foods, Inc 87,98,138,1
2007 Sysco Corp. 87,98,138,1
2006 Jones Apparel Group Inc. 87
1999 Phillips-Van Heusen Corp 87, 98
1997 PepsiCo Inc. 87, 98