Calling out Injustice against Security Guards and Cleaning Women in Honduras

  • December 5, 2016

Cleaning and security companies in Honduras are notorious for not respecting the rights of their workers. Despite contracts with major state institutions, most get away with paying their workers less than the legal minimum wage, and working them as many as 96 hours per week without any extra pay or overtime. AJS has put together a study of the current state of security guards and cleaning women in state institutions in Honduras, pressuring the government to guarantee the labor rights of these workers.


“They talk about our rights, well, rights, we don’t have.”

Hundreds of cleaning women are contracted to work in government institutions in Honduras. They’re not government employees – the institutions pay a cleaning company, who provides the workers. Hundreds of security guards are contracted in the same way. From sunup to sundown they stand at entries or walk through hallways, looking out for the people in the building.

Cleaning and security companies in Honduras are notorious for not respecting the rights of their workers. Despite contracts with major state institutions, most get away with paying their workers less than the legal minimum wage, and working them as many as 96 hours per week without any extra pay or overtime.

These are the companies that AJS lawyer Dionisio Diaz Garcia was up against when he was defending the rights of security guards ten years ago. These are the companies that sent someone to kill him, rather than accept the consequences of their exploitation.

Now, ten years later, AJS has put together a study of the current state of security guards and cleaning women in state institutions in Honduras. The study used over 300 surveys to gather data, which showed that for most workers, situations have not improved. AJS will use this study to pressure the government to guarantee the labor rights of all workers, but especially those who work in their buildings, who clean their floors and guard their gates.

Many of the stories that emerged in these studies are powerful – here three brave workers share their experiences and their desire for justice.

“Rights, we don’t have”, a Cleaning Woman’s Story

“No other Choice,” a Security Guard’s Story

“Empty Hands,” a Cleaning Woman’s Story

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