Posted On 09 Dec 2016
On May 21, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seized the Clementina Banana Estate in the province of Los Rios for a tax debt of 100 million dollars.
This action led to the dismissal of 1,800 employees of the Noboa Group who were working in the Hacienda, creating a committee of former workers who sought their severance payments, explained Jose Munoz, a representative of the former employees.
“We have colleagues who have been working for more than 40 years, at the age of 70, and they still have to be working because they have not yet been able to get a retirement pension,” he said.
A judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, so last month the Labor Inspectorate of Babahoyo ordered the auction of a property of the Industria Cartonera Ecuatoriana company, domiciled in Guayaquil, which also belongs to the Noboa Group.
According to Fernando Alarcon, legal director of the Noboa Corporation, the auction of the company, considered by the authorities as a joint debtor, would harm the company’s 400 employees, so they decided to pay the nearly 4 million dollars to the Ministry of Labor Relations.
“We are not, from any point of view, recognizing the legitimacy of the payment that was ordered to the Clementina banana company in that collective dispute. A debt of supposedly 4 million dollars affected all the properties of more than 50 companies. The operational and financial damage they have caused us is extremely severe,” he said.
He informed that the Noboa Group reserves the right to initiate criminal and civil actions, since they consider that the auction notification had economic and operational effects, which, once evaluated, will serve to analyze if they give way to legal actions.