With Daniel Durón

Bimbo: The antiunion bear

Sixty-two workers fired for forming a union



On July 21, 2008, the workers of Lido Pozuelo (property of the Mexican transnational corporation Bimbo) notified both the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and management that they had created a trade union. The next day Bimbo retaliated by firing 62 of them. Sirel spoke about this situation with Daniel Durón, general secretary of the General Workers’ Federation of Honduras (CGT), which is supporting the mobilization of Lido Pozuelo’s employees.


-How did this conflict start?

-This is a company that employs some 450 workers, 98 percent of which are Honduran. Three months ago the Mexican-based transnational corporation Bimbo purchased the bread manufacturer Lido Pozuelo, which was owned by local shareholders. The workers decided to organize and form a trade union, and they completed the proceeding, right up to the requirement of notifying the Ministry of Labor and the company, and simultaneously requested that the State grant the workers the protection they are entitled to in these instances.


-What was the company’s reaction?

-It immediately fired 62 workers, including some pregnant women. These are workers with 10 to 15 years of seniority in the company, with monthly salaries of 175 dollars, which are below the national minimum wage. Sadly this is relatively common in our country. Many companies have an antiunion policy.


-How have you responded?

-The workers at Lido Bimbo, with the support of other unions, have surrounded the plant’s facilities, and for the past eight days we have been blocking the way in and out. Several organizations have expressed their solidarity by bringing us food, and giving us physical and moral support, to help us resist, as the company is hoping to wear us out.


-Is the factory operating?

-It is at a complete standstill and has had no production since this began.


-Have you been able to speak with management?

-Not at all. The company was summoned to a mediation meeting by the Ministry of Labor, but it failed to show up. Management filed an annulment action with the Ministry, against the union, which lacks any real grounds. For our part, we’re pressuring so that the Ministry will ratify the legal protection that the State must ensure for organized workers, and we are confident that it will dismiss the action filed by management’s counsel. Bimbo’s intention is to destroy the union, but we have the full support of our CGT.


-Before Bimbo purchased this plant, was there a union there?

-There had been several attempts to form one, but they were always frustrated, the workers were repressed. This time we were finally able to complete the proceeding and file an official request to form the union, and this makes the present repression much more violent and serious than previous ones. It is a direct and clear denial of union rights.


-How is the workers’ morale?

-Spirits are very high. The conflict has been covered by the press, and there have been several appeals to solidarity. We are fighting against a powerful transnational corporation, and we are strengthening our ranks to resist. In this sense, international solidarity and support from the labor movement is essential.


Carlos Amorín


July 31, 2008




Ilustración: Rel-UITA


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