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Banana workers

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by

Nicole Lemire

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Banana workers

The Problems with the Banana Plantations. Conditions for Bananas. There are a lot of problems involved with working on these plantations... The pesticides (some banned in the States because they are that hazardous) and herbicides are getting sprayed while the workers are present and are causing illness amoung the workers. When the children get sick from these chemicals, they go home for a day or two then return to the same conditions. The workers are getting paid around 5.44$/day. It takes around 288$ a month to support a family, the combined work of two adults barely covers basic needs. Resources:
http://dbacon.igc.org/FarmWork/11BananaBlood.htm
http://www.organicconsumers.org/starbucks/0828_fair_trade.cfm
http://www.bananalink.org.uk/content/view/79/39/lang,en/
The handout.
Exploring Globalization textbook.
http://www.globalissues.org/article/63/the-banana-trade-war In 2002, the children workers were aged between 5 and 14, they usually worked 12 hours a day, on very low-wage. Now there are child labor laws, children have to be at least 15. They rarely get the opportunity to go to school because they need to help support their family. The workers are usually paid for 8 hours of work when they have to work 10-12 hours. Overtime goes completely unpaid. Do you see anything wrong here? With the limit in available jobs in the area of the workers, they do not protest against any of the injustices because they would get fired and black listed. That would put them at a huge disadvantage and would lower their likelihood of finding other employment in the banana picking industry. Women are treated completely unequally. They usually get paid less but still carry out long working days. They do not have proper protection for manipulating pesticides. The women are usually SINGLE mothers who RENT homes, and they get exposed to sexual harrassment. They have to leave their small children in dangerous conditions where they are getting exposed to abuse. After 3 months of working, the workers should be entitled to severance pay and other benefits. But, to save money and various 'inconveniences,' the workers usually get fired before that. Injustice at its best. Banana wars. What is it? " During the 1990s, the international trade conflict that pitted gouvernements against one another." This affected many aspects of the banana industry, like the stakeholders. Some of which were unjustly charged taxes when other countries weren't. Bananas represent a large variety of environmental, economic, social and political problems in history and throughout the world today. The American company Chiquita suggested to the United States governement to take this injustice to the World Trade Organization. Now about 150 countries around the world are involved with WTO. The rules say that all the member countries must treat each other equally. One country may not impose taxes on one country and not the others. All these problems for bananas?

Please take everything I just stated into strong consideration! Thank you for your time. The Environment and The People vs. The Bananas. Tropical forests are getting cut down to produce large enough areas to grow bananas. Which leads to flooding and soil erosion. It reduces biodiversity by destroying the natural living habitats of various species of plants and animals. Cavendish bananas are the most popularly grown and since they do not have seeds, if the crops are destroyed that will also affect the world economy and distribution of the bananas. The pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers being used are getting transferred into rivers, lakes and oceans, poisoning fish, birds and other plants and wildlife.
They are living beings just like us. We are all going to be affected in the long run without a some changes. Better to make them now, before it's too late. People are getting forced off their land because that's where the fields are going to go.
This is resulting in a loss of their traditional way of life. Some had decided to stay and work on the plantations while others moved to cities, to live in poverty.
Is this truly fair and equal? Now just take a look at what the reality is....
After each picture, think about if this was you or your family... Time for changes! I hope you are willing to make a change to help the world!
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