Strengthening Worker Engagement, Empowerment, and Trust in the Dominican Sugar Sector (SWEET)
The SWEET project empowers sugarcane field workers in the Dominican Republic to improve their working and living conditions through increased use of formal and informal mechanisms, including legal assistance, social services, and grievance processes.
The Department of Labor’s reporting on the Dominican Republic sugar sector outlines ongoing issues including worker access to representative trade unions, pay systems, wages and benefits, safety and health protections, proper hydration and rest, treatment for illness and injury, abusive treatment or reprisals, minors participating in hazardous work, and unsuitable housing conditions in isolated worker communities. Extensive civil society and media attention over the years and efforts by the government and companies have led to improvements in the sector; however, concerns persist regarding working and living conditions.
The project will increase workers’ access to formal and informal mechanisms by building connections between civil society organizations and sugarcane field workers, while helping unions in the sugar sector, government ministries, and sugar companies to more effectively involve field workers in improving their working and living conditions.