The CGT Today
The signing of the agreement between Fruit of the Loom and the Central General de Trabajadores (CGT) union of Honduras in November 2009 led to significant progress on associational rights in the Honduran garment industry.
Workers and unions report an improved acceptance of worker organizations among Honduran employers, particularly factories that are owned by three North American manufacturing companies: Fruit of the Loom, Gildan, and Hanesbrands, all of which manufacture university licensed apparel. These three manufacturers, who directly employ their Honduran employees, represent a significant percentage of garment production in Honduras.
As of 2018, the CGT union had established 17 unions at garment factories in Honduras, many of which are owned by these three companies. Workers interviewed by the WRC reported achieving significant benefits through collective bargaining at these factories, including:
- Improved salaries;
- Transportation to and from work;
- Discounted or free lunch;
- School supplies for workers’ children;
- Scholarship program for workers and children; and
- Savings and loan funds.
In addition to the improvements at individual garment factories, during the past 10 years, the CGT union has participated in a number of tripartite negotiations to improve conditions for garment workers. These include negotiations on national minimum wage, the creation of housing and daycare programs for garment workers, and relief funds for workers during the health and economic crisis that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Specific gains for workers who are members of the CGT and other unions in Honduras are documented in a 2022 report by the Center for Global Workers’ Rights at Penn State titled Bargaining for Decent Work and Beyond.