Labor Rights, Union Organizing & Effects of Free Trade

Learn from Tomas Membreño Perez about labor rights, union organizing and the effects of free trade agreements on small producers in Honduras. Tomas has been a campesino leader leading compañeros during land recuperation struggles and urging campesino groups to organize and affiliate themselves with the National Campesino Union of Honduras (UNC).

Because of his work with agrarian movements, Tomas came under heavy persecution by large landowners and the state, forcing him to migrate within Honduras. Amidst growing labor violations at a private company, Tomas and others made efforts to unionize, and in 2005 he was named president of the newly-established SITRAGUA, a union dedicated to the cultivation and export of bananas.

In 2013, due to widespread labor violations and ongoing persecution from the government and businesses to eliminate company unions, it became necessary to forge a larger network, the result of which was STAS, the Agro-industrial Workers Union. Tomas is currently the president of STAS, and also serves as secretary of FESTAGRO, the Trade Union Federation of Agribusiness Workers. Both STAS and FESTAGRO represent the first trade union and union federation in Honduras.

This event is sponsored by LSP, CTUL, the International Labor Rights Forum, the Minnesota Food Association, the Minnesota Cuba Committee, Witness for Peace and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

For details, check out this flier.