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May Day Statement from Haitian Workers (Batay Ouvriye!)

The Following International Worker’s Day (MAY DAY) statement text comes to us from our sisters and brothers  working in the Haitian Garment sweatshops. They will be organizing activities for Mayday. The tragic irony is that they are fighting in 2018 for some of the same basic rights workers in Chicago and the rest of the US were fighting for back in the 19th century. The capitalists call this development of imperialism “progress”. We tend to differ.

Many of these brave workers travel miles upon miles on few hours of sleep in some of the worst living conditions imaginable, always with the threat of being fired (many have been fired for organizing activities for over a year now). In the United States, we have no excuse to not organize for our interests! With the consolidation of Fascism now underway, we too are facing constant attacks on our most basic rights. The capitalists are gutting everything we have fought and many workers died for. Their particulars are different , but our common struggle is one and the same! We face the same capitalist class and their market tyranny.

For Mayday, as Batay Ouvriye commemorates a US based worker’s holiday, may we too pick up our historical task to fight on for the interests of the working class, which are objectively the collective interests of all human kind – minus the parasitic capitalist class. Why should a minute group of people who produce nothing be allowed to  steal all the value made by labor and dictate world events?  Workers were not in the decision process for such an arrangement, and WE MUST ALWAYS FIGHT FOR OUR INTERESTS above any and all secondary concepts like “race”. Workers are workers, capitalists are capitalists and what benefits one, attacks the other. That’s the reality of this market arrangement. We ask that you please read the following text and ask yourself: minus the specific names and agencies, are their grievances not the same as yours? Are we not the same class of people facing the same enemy? Workers Struggle salutes these amazing workers and hopes one day to have built as inspiring an autonomous workers’ movement as them! #SolidarityForever

NOTE: To help them raise $1300 for these events please CLICK HERE for more info.

PLATFORM OF GARMENT INDUSTRY UNIONS-BATAY OUVRIYE 
(PLASIT-BO)

Greetings Factory Comrades of Port-Au- Prince, Caracol Park, and CODEVI Ouanaminthe Park. As you all know, each MayDay  the Platform of Garment Industry Unions-Batay Ouvriye (PLASIT-BO) always takes the initiative to mobilize everywhere, takes to the streets to demand wage adjustments and social benefits to meet our needs and against the anti union practices of the capitalists against our members. To launch MayDay 2018, we are organizing 2 major events. One is the Cross-Arm Strike on April 24 and then we will take the streets to put pressure on the Jovenel/Lafontant government to meet our demands, which have never been satisfied.

WE VOTED FOR 
THEM, BUT THEY ARE DEFENDING THE CAPITALISTS!

Today, our situation worsens, the cost of living brought us to our knees. Cost of basic items is rising sky high everyday while our salary is never adjusted to make ends meet, not to speak of a wage hike. In addition: we can’t get any services in ONA while politicians and capitalists reap the benefits of workers’ funds in that institution. While they get big loans to invest in their businesses, we, workers, cannot get loans of any kind if we wanted to build a house.They give us the run around and nothing!

As for OFATMA, despite the fact that we pay for health insurance (Illness & Maternity), it is a big challenge to get health services when we get sick. They not only take a very long time to reimburse us for medical expenses
but also they don’t pay the other part of the maternity leave of the women. Therefore, ONA and OFATMA must undergo big reforms to provide services that we need. The government for its part never stop giving lip service on the question of social benefits such as food, transport and housing subsidies that they promised.

                                                                PROMISES ARE RED HERRINGS!

Furthermore, the Supreme Salary Council (CSS) is gearing itself up this year again to turn us into dough telling us they will publish the 5 th report on August 1 st at the latest so that by October 2018, the minimum wage adjustment will be completed. This will in effect make us lose another year. We cannot forget that president Jovenel Moise declard there will be no salary adjustment this year. Friends, we see clearly the conspiracy against us. THE CSS FOR US IS A BAD MEDICINE. We in SOTA-BO, SOKOWA, AND SOVASHG which form the Platform of
Garment Unions-Batay Ouvriye (PLASIT-BO), together with other unions such as SOFEZO and SINOTRASHG in CODEVI and Caracol Park recall: no governments ever, those that came before, and the current one, they never want to add one cent on our wages.

                                                    WE CAN ONLY COUNT ON OUR OWN MOBILIZATIONS!

It is in that context, we launch OPERATION CROSS ARM on April 24, 2018 to demand that the MOISE/LAFONTANT government adjust the minimum wage to 1,000 gourdes without quota hikes, to remove PIERRE JOSEPH POLICARPE and FRITZ CHARLES in the CSS because they do not represent us as workers, and the capitalists must reinstate workers and union members who were fired after the 2017 mobilizations. So, all workers should Mobilize for the April 24 General Strike to be respected and participate in the MayDay March, International Workers Day.

                             THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO COUNT ON OUR OWN STRENGTH 

                                                          TO FIND THE SOLUTION FOR OUR LIVES!

               DO NOT ALLOW CAPITALISTS AND THEIR STOOL-PIGEONS TO DISTRACT US!

               LONG LIVE THE WORKERS STRUGGLES IN THE GARMENT FACTORIES IN HAITI!

                           LONG LIVE WORKERS STRUGGLES AROUND THE WORLD!

THE STRUGGLE HAS JUST BEGUN!

                                                                                                                                            PLASIT-BO 4/20/2018