Workers this is not the way the country should be!
Students, this is not the way the country should be!
Poor people, this is not the way the country should be!
Street vendors, this is not the way the country should be!
These are the chants that rang out when students, street vendors and the poor, joined garment workers, to march the streets of Port Au Prince, Haiti on Monday, July 10, 2017.
Garment workers have been striking and mobilizing since May for a minimum wage adjustment of 800 Gourdes/day (US$12.80). They have made clear, they cannot survive on the current wage of 300 Gourdes, and they will not back down until they get 800.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017, workers marched again. This time, over 25,000 workers flooded the streets!
In the video below from the July 11 march, the calls say:
“Jovenel is the lackey of the bosses!”
“We do not want rice!”
“We want 800 Gourdes!”
Jovenel Moise is the current president of Haiti. Workers say they do not want rice, because often factory owners and bosses will pay workers in rice and oil, rather than their wages. Haitians are paid the lowest wage in the western hemisphere.
Haitian Senate Halts Bogus Wage Proposal:
Last night (07.11.17), the Haitian Senate voted on a resolution. They asked President Jovenel Moise to hold off on publishing the State Salary Council’s (CSS) proposal. This prevents the proposal from becoming law, which is the standard process.
Last week, the CSS proposed an increase to 335 Gourdes – an insult to workers. This council is comprised of representatives from the following entities: factory owners, the Haitian government, and labor. The CSS consistently represents the interests of factory owners, as labor is always in minority. Often owners will pay off or manipulate the labor representative on this council.
SOTA-BO, SOKOWA & SOVAGH – textile unions affiliated with Batay Ouvriye – have been saying this.
The Haitian Senate finally acknowledged this corruption and echoed workers’ calls for factory owners to stop acting as slave owners. Several called the CSS and its proposal an affront to workers. They also called on the need for expert study regarding wages and garment workers’ conditions.
These studies have been done several times. A 2014 study by The Solidarity Center titled “The High Cost of Low Wages in Haiti,” concluded that, based on a standard 48-hour work week, Haitian workers should be paid at least 1,006 gourdes per day to adequately provide for themselves and their families. That was three years ago. Workers are actually demanding less than what is said they actually need to survive.
Today, July 12, 2017 – Workers march again.
They will go factory to factory. Haitian Senators said they will participate in today’s march.
TODAY, let’s stand with the workers!
Let’s keep pressure on these politicians!
Let’s Remind Factory Owners Once Again:
HATIAN GARMENT WORKERS ARE NOT YOUR SLAVE LABOR. 800 GOURDES!
Please send an email of support.
You can copy and paste the below email contacts, subject and body.
Spread the word. Send as many emails as you can, from all your different accounts.
To: Jay@yjapp.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: WORKERS ARE NOT YOUR SLAVES. PAY 800.
I am emailing in support of Haitian garment workers in Port Au Prince, Carrefour, Ounaminthe and Caracol.
335 Gourdes is an insulting proposal.
Workers and their allies will not stop until you pay the decent wage workers are demanding – 800 Gourdes.
They have the rights to organize and demand decent pay to house, feed, clothe and educate themselves.
WORKERS ARE NOT YOUR SLAVES.
I insist on the following:
- Pay workers 800 Gourdes minimum wage & provide social services.
- Respect workers’ right to organize.
- Stop the repression against workers!
In solidarity with Haitian garment workers,
City, State, or Country
GIANT thanks to all people from around the world who continue to stand with Haitian garment workers and their fight for a minimum wage adjustment!
Your donations, emails, social media posts, tweets and shares continue to have a major impact. The Haitian government, factory owners, and regulatory agencies, normally function with impunity, exploiting and repressing workers as they please. They assume that we don’t know or care where Haiti is. They assume that we only care about consuming cheap goods.
Now, they know that the world is watching. We are not just passive consumers. We are humans expressing our instinct for collectivity and international solidarity.
They cannot repress people fighting for their rights. We will not stand for that. We are many. We are strong.
Don’t stop. Kenbe fem. Stand firm.
Please consider making a donation to help workers continue their efforts.
Your contribution will be used to provide meals to workers at meetings; to print leaflets; to help transport organizers; and to recoup the costs of mobilizing in four locations, since May 19.
After weeks of strikes and mobilizations, many have been arrested. Some must return to work in order to eat. Some have been denied entry into the factories for their participation in the strikes, and cannot pay rent. Some are facing medical bills from police repression. Many factories are shut down, some are out of work.
While many workers are hungry, tired, and struggling to survive, their resolve does not wane.
They are determined to continue this fight. They must. Their survival depends on it.
Thank you for your solidarity! <3