Ecuador is one of the 10 worst countries in the world for working people

No guarantee of rights (?)

Country score is the same as last year.

In Ecuador, workers attempting to form or join a trade union faced death threats and dismissals in a pervasive, dangerous anti-union climate.

Employers are free to interfere with impunity in trade union formation. Workers at Energy & Palma Energypalma S.A., a palm oil processing plant, received death threats for attempting to create a union. A yellow union was created by the employer to thwart any attempt at genuine representation. In another case, 26 workers employed by the country’s civil service were dismissed for attempting to set up a union.

On top of a restrictive legal framework for unions, authorities regularly rejected applications for union registration without justification. The National Committee on Labour and Wages, which should operate as a tripartite body, issued recommendations for law reforms and labour policies without input from trade unions.

Death threats against banana workers’ representatives

In October 2023, Diana Montoya and her colleagues, Maricela Guzmán and Miriam Ternoz, coordinators of the Asociación Sindical de Trabajadores Bananeros Agrícolas y Campesinos (ASTAC), denounced the death threats they received for their work on behalf of the banana workers’ union, and criticised the government for its failure to protect workers and enabling the continuing lack of effective judicial investigations to continue unchecked.

Credit: Rodrigo BUENDIA / AFP

In Ecuador, workers attempting to form or join a trade union face death threats and dismissals. The pervasive anti-union climate severely hampers the development of independent and strong trade unions in the country.

Union busting at a plastics company

Throughout 2023, Industrial y Comercial Trilex CA, a plastics company, persecuted and dismissed leaders and members of the Federación Sindical Independiente de los Trabajadores del Ecuador (FESITRAE). The company’s anti-union actions included supporting the creation of a yellow union, made up mainly of management personnel, ignoring a negotiated collective agreement, and pressuring union leaders to resign in exchange for severance pay.