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Banana workers’ strike threatens widespread labor trouble

December 19, 1985

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) _ A strike Wednesday by Standard Fruit Co. banana field workers to protest the dismissal of 105 other employees threatened to provoke widespread labor unrest in this Central American country.

About 4,000 port workers and officials walked out in sympathy, and the union at the nation’s only oil refinery called a strike for Thursday.

Standard Fruit, a subsidiary of Castle & Cook of San Francisco, laid off the 105 workers two weeks ago, citing economic reasons, and its 3,500 remaining employees struck to demand their reinstatement.

Hours after the port workers walked out, Raul Funez, general secretary of the 200-member Texaco workers union, said the refinery workers also would strike. Several other unions issued statements pledging to follow suit.

Texaco operates the refinery at Puerto Cortes, 188 miles northeast of the capital.

Labor Minister Amado H. Nunez called an urgent Cabinet meeting.

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