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(en) DA #26 - Solidarity Federation - Nicaragua

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 20 Apr 2003 09:08:13 +0200 (CEST)


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Over the past 25 years, 103 former banana workers and
their children have died, and 22,000 have become seriously
ill following regular contact with DBCP
(dibromochloropropane), also known as "Nemagon".
Problems include high cancer rates, birth defects, sterility
and skin diseases. In neighbouring Costa Rica, thousands
of
male workers have become infertile, and women have
suffered sterility, birth defects, increased cases of
spontaneous abortion, and breast and uterine cancer.
DBCP was banned in the US in 1977. However, its use
continued in banana plantations throughout Central
America during the 1980s. Legal battles are still being
fought
against the banana companies that used the substance -
Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte - and the companies
responsible for producing it - Dow, Shell and Occidental.
Imposing
the use of a banned toxic product on workers is a clear
example of the flagrant abuse of human rights by
multinational companies.
In Nicaragua, a judge has ordered three US companies
(Dow Chemical, Shell Oil and Standard Fruit Company) to
pay US$490 million to banana workers affected by the use
of pesticide. This followed the application of the new Law
364, allowing those affected by the use of pesticides to sue
multinationals. However, since the ruling, Dow
Chemicals have released a statement saying they do not
recognise Nicaraguan law. Dole have gone further, by
directly threatening the affected workers and saying that
no
negotiations will take place unless Law 364 is entirely
excluded. The battle for compensation will now continue
through the US courts, where the multinationals are based.
It may take several months to several years before the
banana workers actually receive compensation.
You can write letters about the pending court cases,
Nicaraguan Law 364, compensation for the affected
workers, and the disgusting practice of using chemicals
known to
cause damage to workers' health:
For DOW, write to: William S. Stavropoulos, President, The
Dow Chemical Company, 2030 Dow Center, Midland,
Michigan 48642, US.
For DOLE, write to: CEO - David Murdock, The Dole Food
Company Inc, Dole World Headquarters, 1 Dole Drive,
Westlake Village 91361, California, US.
Please send a copy of your correspondence to: CAWN, c/o
OWA, Bradley Close, White Lion St, London N1 9PF. Email:
cawn@gn.apc.org



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