The working-class history of the Republic of Haiti

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May Day: Worker protests and government hypocrisy
This Week in Haiti, Haiti Progres, 13–19 September 1995. International Workers Day is known in Haiti as the Day of Agriculture and Work and is celebrated every year with official pronouncements and fanfare. Preval, in league with the Organization of People in Struggle (OPL), engaged in measures contrary to working-class interests despite pro-worker rhetoric. Popular expressions of discontent.
Labor, outsiders, etc.
By Tom F. Driver, 23 October 1996. Part of a dialog on Bob Corbett's Haiti list regarding US influence over the Haitian labor movement.
USAID and wages
By Tom Driver (contribution to a dialog on Bob Corbett's Haiti list), 7 November 1996. Evidence in support of the view that in 1991 Aristide and his then Prime Minister proposed raising the minimum wage. The US spent $26 million to defeat that move in the legislature. Today the US and the various agencies it controls still oppose any rise in wages.
Haitian Unions under the Gun
By G. Dunkel, Workers World, 13 March 1997. Examples of how the Haitian labor movement is under sharp attack by U.S. imperialism, through the World Bank and IMF.
Anti-Union Actions
Haiti Progress, August 6–12, 1997. Men and women workers denounce illegal conditions, slave-level wages and repression of their efforts to organize.
Haitian labor leader appeals for solidarity
By Stan Goff, Peoples Weekly World, 18 October 1997. Yannick Etienne, who organized Batay Ouvriye (Creole for Workers Struggle), an umbrella labor organization that is attempting to wrest control of organized labor from the traditional unions, which she describes as opportunistic and co-opted.
Gonaives: Public Employees Strike over Wages and Conditions
Haiti Progres, January 21–27 1998. Prosecutors and justices of the peace in Gonaives striking to force the Justice Minister to give them a salary which conforms to the cost of living.
Repression against Haitian trade unionists
ICFTU ONLINE..., 10 April 2000. The names of several Haitian trade union leaders are on a black list drawn up by the hard-line faction of the Lavalas Party, which intends to assassinate them. The ICFTU strongly condemns a whole series of rights violations targeted at the Haitian trade unions.
Haiti, a country mired in the past: WTO must act says ICFTU report
ICFTU Online..., 4 June 2002. ICFTU has condemns flagrant violations of workers' trade union rights, including violence against trade union activists, and serious problems with child labour, including bonded child labour.
Spolight on the ‘informal sector’ in Haiti
OGITH's General Secretary Patrick Numas speaks to Cecilia Locmant for an ICFTU ‘spotlight’ interview, 21 June 2002. In Haiti, the informal economy provides a living for 70% of the population. Thus, unions like the OGITH are trying to organise a section of these workers in a particularly difficult economic context and in a still unstable political climate.
Nurses Union denounces the Minister of Public Health
Haiti Press Network, translated from French by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group, 27 September 2002. Leaders of the Syndicat Professionnel des Infirmières (SPI, the Nurses' Union) expressed their concerns in the aftermath of what they called a disappointing meeting with the Minister of Public Health. The minister denounced for his negligence with regard to nurses.
Workers' Struggles in Haiti: The Minimum Wage (70 Gourdes), 3 Lots for Sharecroppers…
Extract from Solidarite,—A Newsletter of the Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network—New York, Number One, August 2003. Workers struggles are surging on various fronts, away from head-line news. Among the many struggles, there is the question of wages and exploitation. During recent months, the Haitian bourgeoisie has maneuvered to lower real wages of workers in order to gain a comparative advantage as compared to other countries in Central America.
DES techniciens de l’EDH en grève
L'Union, 24 août 2003. Des techniciens de l'Electricité d'Haiti (EDH) observent, depuis le lundi 18 août 2003, un arrêt de travail à l'usine de la rue Joseph Janvier suite à la mort par électrocution de l'un des leurs.
New ICFTU report submitted to the WTO: Serious violations of Core Labour Rights in Haiti
ICFTU Online..., 4 November 2003. Widespread violations of core labour standards. The ICFTU report criticizes Haiti's flagrant lack of compliance with ILO Core Labour Standards. Workers' rights are essentially non-existent; workers who try to organise are subject to constant threats, violence and even murder, but the government does not investigate.
Batay Ouvriye: About us
From the Batay Ouvriye website, n.d. [2003]. Batay Ouvriye is an organization that regroups factory unions and committees, workers' associations and militants, all struggling in Haiti for the construction of an independent, combative and democratic union movement.
Amnesty International calls for union rights in new free trade zone
From Haiti Support Group, 17 December 2003. Amnesty International has called on companies operating in garment assembly factories in the new free zone in Ouanaminthe in north-east Haiti to respect workers' rights.