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Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. Message Board

  • LeonMusa LeonMusa Jun 4, 2007 4:33 AM Flag


    Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2006
    Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
    March 6, 2007
    During the year foreign government officials visited the Cameroon Development Cooperation's (CDC) Del Monte banana and rubber plantations. They found children as young as six and seven working in the Tiko banana plantation, carrying heavy banana bunches on their heads, carting water to the fields, working around the nurseries, or harvesting rubber from the trees. Officials denied that children under 21 were hired on the plantation. Foreign observers, having met with both CDC and Del Monte officials, were satisfied that the companies neither recruited nor condoned child labor (and had systems in place to prevent this), and that the children observed at the Tiko project were primarily "free lancers," village children delivering water or collecting discarded bananas. There were fewer controls at the rubber plantation, where officials admitted that children often collected rubber in the mornings and evenings, mostly to help their family members working on the plantation.

    The ILO continued to work with specific contact persons in various ministries and agencies involved in antitrafficking activities; it also conducted nationwide investigations and cooperated with local organizations.

    e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

    The minimum wage was approximately $47 (23,514 CFA francs) per month and was applicable in all sectors. The minimum wage did not provide for a decent standard of living for an average worker and family. The Ministry of Labor was responsible for enforcing the minimum wage nationally.

    The law establishes a standard workweek of 40 hours in public and private nonagricultural firms and 48 hours in agricultural and related activities. There are exceptions for guards and firemen (56 hours a week), service sector staff (45 hours a week), and household and restaurant staff (54 hours a week). The law mandates at least 24 consecutive hours of weekly rest. Premium pay for overtime ranges from 120 to 150 percent of the hourly pay depending on amount and whether it is for weekend or late-night overtime. There is a prohibition on excessive compulsory service. Ministry of Labor inspectors were responsible for monitoring these standards; however, they lacked the resources for a comprehensive inspection program.

    The government sets health and safety standards. Ministry of Labor inspectors and occupational health physicians were responsible for monitoring these standards; however, they lacked the resources for a comprehensive inspection program. The law does not provide workers with the right to remove themselves from situations that endanger health or safety without jeopardizing their continued employment.

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