Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sugar in your tea?

In Guatemala government authorities, although legally having to prevent child labor, allow children under 14 years of age to work in their cane fields, which is a physically demanding and dangerous work.

Children work in the sugar fields where workers are paid by tonnage cut. While most adult workers cut two to three tons, that doesn't even add up to minimum wage, about 7.5 USD per day. One of the families interviewed, where the father works with his two sons, one 12 and the other 13, don't even make minimum wage between the three of them.

Although the sugar industry in Guatemala is one of the fastest growing and highest grossing in Guatemala, this growth and wealth is not passed on to the people farther down in the chain. In fact, the sugar association that brings together the 13 sugar processing plants in Guatemala, Asazgua, only guarantees a minimum wage for those who work processing the sugar, not those who cut it

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