The IUF Latin American team is assisting dozens of Nicaraguan migrants workers stranded in Costa Rica. Every year, hundreds of people travel to Costa Rica to work in the sugarcane harvest; however, people hired through a labour supplier to work at the Taboga Sugar Mill in Guanacaste province, the main sugarcane production area of Costa Rica, did not get the conditions they were promised. Their wages were not paid, they have no money for food or to pay their return travel to Nicaragua.
- The local union Sintraica, has been battling with the company management, the Ministry of Labour and relevant authorities to assist the Nicaraguan workers and to ensure that they get their wages and have access to food and accommodation. To date, the issues have not been resolved
- The IUF has taken the case to the President of Costa Rica, writing to him to ask for his personal intervention to protect the human rights of the Nicaraguan workers and to ensure that Taboga Sugar Mill enters into good faith negotiations with Sintraica, resolves the situation of the migrant workers and ensures compliance with CBA requirements on outsourcing/use of agency labour
- A short video (in Spanish) produced by REL-UITA http://www.rel-uita.org/costa-rica/huerfanos-del-canaveral/ explores how the COVID 19 pandemic has driven even more Nicaraguans to look for work in Costa Rica. The reporters found that workers were not being paid the minimum wage and were living in deplorable conditions
- The main destinations for Costa Rica’s sugar are the United States, Canada, the European Union, and the Bahamas
“Nicaraguan migrant workers in Costa Rica are the orphans of the cane fields,” said Gerardo Iglesias, Rel-UITA Regional Secretary.