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Economy, tax incentives & labor conditions
The worst violations occur, as is often the case, in the export processing zones (EPZs). Barely 6 per cent of the workers are union members, largely due to the employers' hostility towards unions. Very few of the unions in the zones have real collective bargaining power. Since the companies are financed by floating capital the factories are regularly closed so there is chronic instability for the workforce. Simply threatening that the company will leave the country is a very effective way of silencing the workers and preventing them from getting organised. The actual closures that do take place destroy any efforts to organise that were under way. In November 2006 it was reported that 20 factories had closed during the year, representing 5,000 jobs.
Those companies that do have trade unions are tirelessly seeking ways of destroying them so that can carry on imposing their policies at will. Mass dismissals, including the leaders or founder members of trade unions, are a key ploy for getting rid of unions or preventing the creation of new ones. Another tactic is to offer workers incentives for leaving a union. Where unions exist, companies try to break them up but also ignore their rights in practice. Cases of arbitrary breaches of collective agreements are common and constitute attacks on workers’ main bargaining tool.
Free trade zones: OPINSA - Siglo XXI
Zona Franca Granada
Zona Franca Index
Zona Franca Industrial Las Mercedes
Zona Franca Mateare
Zona Franca San Cristobal
Zona Franca San Marcos
Zona Franca Saratoga
Zona Franca Senika
Main labor right violations
2006 Coca Cola Co. 87