The Union of Private Sector Workers (SITRASEP) in Costa Rica announced that companies such as Exportaciones Norteñas have been strongly questioned since 2015 for keeping hundreds of workers in semi-slavery conditions and upholding a strong anti-union policy.
|That is why today, the Union and social organizations request that the country’s Public Ministry investigate 9 pineapple companies that were closed. Crimes such as human trafficking, wrongful compliance, and the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, these companies allegedly have committed on their workers.
The company Exportaciones Norteñas S.A is mentioned because it was the case that left the most consequences. It was closed by officials from the Ministry of Health, due to the detection of an outbreak of at least 21 workers infected with Coronavirus.
Representing the Ecological Federation (Fecon), Dany Villalobos, expressed that the situation, “is worrisome because the pineapple companies seem to have acted in bad faith and committed the crime of fraud by putting all their employees at risk, in light of article 127 of the Penal Code.”
Business organizations such as CANAPES and CADEXCO insisted the Government of the Republic, make provisions flexible with the sole objective of continuing to accumulate profits above the health of workers and rural populations. In this sense, the Ecological Federation insisted on its claim and from various sectors demand that the Public Ministry carry out a thorough investigation to clarify the situation.
On the other hand, Exportaciones Norteñas, a company that owns approximately 3,000 hectares and more than 1,000 pineapple workers in the Northern Zone, is being investigated for the apparent hiring of undocumented labor and abuses and injustices committed with the workers.
It is worth mentioning that said company, owned by businessman Rodrigo García, manager of the San Carlos Team, reported zero profits to the Ministry of Finance last year, according to the list of national companies with zero profits released by the Frente Amplio Party this week.
Today the pineapple is in the sights of the authorities, not only because of the positive cases found here, but also because of old complaints from Nicaraguan workers, who allege that they have worked for the company, but without social security, despite being lowered from the payroll.