Country Rating: 4

  • Systematic violation of rights

  • Workers in countries with the rating of 4 have reported systematic violations. The government and/or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers, putting fundamental rights under continuous threat.

Mass dismissals at Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana: On 14 March 2014, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Nacional Portuaria (SITRAENP) reported that, against the background of the privatisation of port operations in Honduras, the multinational port management company ICTSI and its subsidiary in Honduras Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana (OPC) began a process of mass dismissals, reportedly affecting some 80 workers, all members or former leaders of the SITRAENP.

The company claims that the dismissals were made in accordance with Honduran law, supposedly because the workers had reached the end of their 60-day trial period.

Father of threatened dockers' leader murdered: On 28 January 2014, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) announced that the father of Victor Crespo – the Honduran trade union leader threatened with death for his work in Puerto Cortés – died following an attack on him and other family members by an armed assailant who ran them down in a stolen car.

Following a murder attempt in September 2013 Victor Crespo was evacuated to a third country to allow him to continue his work as president of the ITF-affiliated Sindicato Gremial de Trabajadores del Muelle (SGTM). It appears that the same forces that wanted him dead then have now targeted his father, Victor Manuel Crespo Puerto, who was declared brain-dead following the attack. His life support was switched off this afternoon.

Death threats have also begun again against Crespo's colleagues in the SGTM leadership. The ITF and SGTM believe these are connected to the union's lawful request for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) at the port and the recognition that benefits have not been paid, despite the law requiring them. The port operating concession has recently been taken over by ICTSI, which has hired a single stevedoring company. When the SGTM presented legal cases to press for its members' rights the death threats immediately resumed.

Union busting at National Agrarian Institute: In a report dated 30 October 2013, the Central Executive Board of the Sindicato de Trabajadores del Instituto Nacional Agrario (SITRAINA) denounced the strategy being deployed by the management to "divide the peasant movement and eradicate the trade union".

The trade union organisation reiterated its denunciation of the delaying tactics being used by the management to prevent the negotiation of the new collective agreement, together with its illegal withholding of trade union dues and its refusal to grant paid trade union leave.

It also underlined that the INA is several months in arrears with the contributions payable to the National Institute of Public Employee Retirement Benefits and Pensions (INJUPEMP) and the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS), which is causing great insecurity and uncertainty among its employees and their families.

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