THANK YOU SO MUCH for the incredible show of solidarity for Haitian garment workers and their fight for 800 Gourdes minimum wage!
SOTA, SOKOWA and SOVGH (textile unions affiliated with Batay Ouvriye) say that our international pressure is working!
This is why police began taking and destroying workers’ phones. They are used to operating with impunity, but they know we are watching. Organizers also said, if it weren’t for RRN solidarity and pressure, police repression against the workers would be even worse.
Also, today in the Haitian newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH) president, George Sassine showed that he too is feeling the international pressure. He is one of the contacts the RRN has been emailing.
He said, “I never said I was against the minimum wage adjustment. I have never sold Haiti’s low wages. I sell the proximity and the availability to find workers and the law Hope. ”
ADIH is comprised of factory owners. They consistently market Haiti to the global textile industry with its “comparative advantages” of extremely cheap labor and proximity to the US. The Hope and Help Acts allow goods produced in Haiti to enter the US and Canada tariff-free.
ADIH also put out false claims at the start of the strike, Friday 5/19/17, claiming that striking workers were attacking factories and fellow workers. We have seen in photos and videos from workers that the violence and repression is from factory owners working to protect their profits.
Thank you to RRN members from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Brasil, France, the US, Canada, and all over the globe!
This week, please help us pressure Gildan Activewear!
Maybe it’s your college or team t-shirt, your running shorts, or a cheesy polo with the company logo that your job likes everyone to where on Fridays… somewhere in your wardrobe, there is likely an article of Gildan brand clothing.
In 2015 Gildan generated $2.57 billion in revenue, an increase of 11.7% from 2014, thanks to the exploited labor of garment workers in Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
Click here for info to Call Gildan NOW.
Let them know you stand with Haitian garment workers and their demand – 800 Gourdes!
UPDATES from Haiti
- Workers in Port Au Prince take the streets again to march.
- At MbI Haiti, SA factory, several workers attempted to join the march, but we’re forced to remain inside the factory gates by police. In the first video, the woman worker yells, “They call the police to beat us. You have no right to touch us.” The loud popping noise is rubber bullets being shot at the workers. The screams are when they are being attacked.
- In this video, also at MbI Haiti, the woman yells, “Don’t beat us! Don’t Talk to him. He is for the boss!”
- RRN also received a report that some workers needed to return to work to be able to pay for food and rent. But, SOTA union lead organizers were prevented from entering the factories.
- SOTA-BO textile union held an assembly at the Batay Ouvriye workers center in Port Au Prince to plan how to proceed with Operasyon Bra Kwaze/Operation Arms Crossed.
— RapidResponseNetwork (@RRNSolidarity) May 28, 2017
- Sunday was also Mother’s Day in Haiti and the RRN received this image from Haiti that says, “Solidarity with Mothers Who Labor in the Factory – 800 Gourdes!”
- CIMO, the riot division of the Haiti National Police repressed workers at H&H Textiles in Carrefour, Haiti. We received a report that one worker was slapped by police.
We are waiting to hear from the workers what comes next. The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, made a statement that he had no intention to adjust the minimum wage. Workers have been striking for over 10 days. There may be a pause in mobilization for rest and to recoup, but the struggle will most definitely continue. They are determined.
In the audio below, workers sing, “Jovenel, we have the right to 800!”
Kenbe Fem! Stand Firm.
Last, please make a financial contribution to help these workers continue their fight.
The act of striking is incredibly brave. It requires a serious sacrifice, and a level of cooperation and care for their collective interest. Striking means no wages. It means hungry families, no money for transit, for school, or for the market. It means the rent will not be paid and the possibility of homelessness. And yet, the textile workers continue on… because they recognize that the only path to justice is through their collective fight. It’s their only alternative to starvation wages and further exploitation.
Workers are determined to continue with the ongoing strikes. They are fierce and brave, but they are also hungry, and funds to continue the strike are low.
Let’s stand with them!
We must not passively accept the presence of products on store shelves without understanding—and actively opposing—the harsh conditions of exploitation and repression under which they are produced.
Skip a few cups of coffee or a dinner out, and donate that money to Haitian garment workers.
Make a contribution of any amount.
ABA SALE MIZ! DOWN WITH MISERY WAGES!
ABA EKSPLWATASYON! DOWN WITH EXPLOITATION!