HONDURAS: General Strike

A general strike, the first in its history, last week paralyzed Honduras' north coast, home of the banana industry. More than 40,000 workers were out, and 40 million bananas a week were ripening and rotting. At one banana company compound, strikers switched locks on the gates and made U.S. managers ask permission to go in or out.

A petty dispute set off the strike late last month at the U.S.-owned United Fruit Co.'s port of Puerto Cortes. Because there are no recognized unions (they are banned by law), no one expected the strike to spread. But laborers quit first at...

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