Message-ID: <Pine.SV4.3.96.980814122950.1246F-100000@qlink>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 12:30:04 -0400
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Veronica Wylie <7vdw@QLINK.QUEENSU.CA>
Subject: Disney/Haiti union files for certification (fwd)

————— Forwarded message —————
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 02:35:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Campaign for Labor Rights <>
Subject: Disney/Haiti union files for certification

Disney/Haiti workers file union papers: International pressure urgently needed to prevent firings

From Batay Ouvriye, 13 August 1998

Workers at the Megatex plant, which produces clothing for Disney and other companies, have filed papers seeking recognition of their union. This factory in Port-au-Prince, Haiti was the subject of an alert on July 30 after management suspended and fired workers suspected of engaging in organizing activities and suspended workers who spoke with a monitoring team visiting the factory.

On Monday, August 10 workers initiated the official registration process for union certification. By this time, a letter already has reached the owner of Megatex, Mr. Michel Liautaud, listing the entire union executive committee. This step constitutes a huge risk for the workers named, who are now subject to arbitrary firing. Management may seek to destroy the union by removing its leadership. International pressure is crucial.

Batay Ouvriye reports that international pressure following our July 30 alert appears to have had good effect because the suspended workers were reinstated and no further firings have taken place. (Thanks to all of you who responded to our appeal for letters!)

Batay emphasizes that international pressure will be particularly important during the next few days in order to head off a new wave of repression at the factory. This is an especially important moment in the Disney/Haiti workers’ struggle to organize. Letters sent now to pre-empt arbitrary firings could prove essential to the progress of workers’ struggle at Megatex.

Please do not neglect to send the cc to Megatex owner Michel Liautaud. He is, in fact, the primary focal point of this alert. The letter was framed as an original to Disney and a cc to Megatex in order to exert more pressure on Mr. Liautaud, since he will see that we are contacting his most important customer. The fax number listed for him in our previous alert was incorrect and has been corrected in this alert.

We also are asking you to send a cc to Campaign for Labor Rights so that we can forward the copies of your letters to Batay Ouvriye, which is very interested in knowing the extent of the response to this alert.


Please copy, sign and send the following letter to Michael Eisner of Disney, with cc’s to the owner of Megatex and to Campaign for Labor Rights

Michael Eisner, CEO
Walt Disney Company
South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Dear Mr. Eisner:

In recent days, workers at the Megatex clothing factory—one of your contractors in Port-au-Prince, Haiti—have filed papers to be represented by a union. Prior to this, workers at Megatex who were suspected of engaging in union organizing already were subject to firings and suspensions. I ask you to intervene personally in the situation to see to it that no more workers are subjected to unfair, illegal and arbitrary actions by Megatex management. I am especially concerned for the safety and well-being of the union’s executive committee, all of whose names were included in a letter sent to the owner, Mr. Michel Liautaud.

On any number of occasions, the public relations department of the Walt Disney company has sent replies to those who have written to you with concerns about labor practices in the Haitian factories of your contractors. In spite of Disney spokespeople’s assertions that all is well, Megatex workers suffer:

Mr. Eisner, glib public relations statements are no substitute for action. I will be following the reports of credible human rights organizations to see whether you will use your considerable economic leverage with Megatex management to guarantee that your workers’ rights are respected.

I am a consumer who cares about labor rights. Anything less than full respect for the rights of freedom of association (the right to join a union) and collective bargaining is completely unacceptable to me. I hope that you will be moved to act on behalf of justice for your workers in Haiti.


cc: Michel Liautaud, Megatex S.A., c/o Association des Industriels d’Haiti, B.P. 2568, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.), Fax: 011-509-46-2211; and Campaign for Labor Rights <>