The following statement was put out by SOTA-BO ( Apparel and Textile Worker’s Union– an affiliate of Batay Ouvriye). Worker’s Struggle shares the text (translated from its original Kreyol) due to our unity with it. It is in regard to the ongoing struggle in Haiti between the workers and the factory owners (Capitalists) as well as the yellow unions who foot soldier for the bosses. These yellow unions took part in recent repression against the working class after failing to co-opt the struggles led by the autonomous workers in SOTA-BO. An organized working class is an unstoppable force, and the capitalists know this! The statement has been translated and given to Worker’s Struggle to share.Let’s build our autonomous organizations here! #Solidarity!
REPRESSON AND PROVOCATIONS WILL NOT INSTILL FEAR IN US. ON THE CONTRARY, WE HAVE BECOME MORE DETERMINED TO CONTINUE OUR FIGHT TO DEMAND WHAT DULY BELONGS TO US.
SOTA-BO, again, sees our living conditions continue to deteriorate everyday and speedily while the bourgeiosie is becoming richer paying us a salary that is way less than what our labor power costs.
Since March 8, 2018 when SOTA-BO launched once again the call to mobilization to continue the fight calling on the MOISE/LAFONTANT government to adjust the minimum wage to 1,000 gourdes or U.S. $15.00 for an 8-hour workday ($1=66.57HTG). And this without the raising the work quota and with social benefits such as subsidies in food, transportation and decent housing.
Despite all the struggles we carried out namely press conferences, conference-debates on minimum wage, sit-ins on March 8th, April 18th, April 23rd. We organized a general strike on April 24th for the minimum wage adjustment. In addition, we did peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Port-Au-Prince on MayDay, on the 21st and 22nd of May 2018. All of that for the minimum wage adjustment. The MOISE/LAFONTANT government remain silent and deaf about our demands for minimum wage adjustment to 1,000 gourdes (U.S. $15.00) at the least ; however, Jovenel said this year, forget about wage adjustment while the capitalists are having it good in their repugnant wealth.
In SOTA, we know the bourgeoisie and the state are two sides of the same coin. They are in mesh to finish off the popular masses, to have workers die with measly wages. In fact, they are united to go nowhere on the wage question. THEY WANT TO KEEP OUR WAGE AS LOW AS POSSIBLE.
However, for us to continue in this fight, we must struggle against the opportunists of all stripes and the goons who came to attack workers in the factories and also those BUSINESS UNIONS in our midst. If they exist, it’s to defend their personal interests and that of the capitalists and the repressive forces in fomenting trouble, division, tear gas, and rifle butts against us. True, there must be unity among organizations in struggle. However, when there is defamation, sound bites, conspiracy in the mix making oneself look big, and making many workers fall victim, the UNITY most of us wish for can’t be built that way. We would be lying to ourselves. And this would not be in our interests as the working class.
We’re telling them all : WELL COUNTED BUT BADLY CALCULATED ! Instead of discouraging us, those provocations make us more determined in the fight to get THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE MINIMUM WAGE. We’re picking ourselves up and embrace the ATTITUDE AND TRADITION OF OUR ANCESTORS WHO FOUGHT AGAINST SLAVERY to go forward.
In SOTA-BO, we’re not looking back. We are going to continue to advance the fight to get the 1,000 gourdes (U.S. $15.00) at the least as minimum wage with social benefits. That is why we’re calling on all workers to open up their eyes, ignore the calls of the fake unionists, the opportunists, remain mobilized, and wait for our calls in the days to come. Remember, it’s people who are organized that will get victory. As for the blows, we’ve taken may blows that hurt us badly. But IT’S IN TAKING IN BLOWS THAT WE LEARN HOW TO DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST THOSE VERY BLOWS. THE FIGHT FOR THE SALARY ADJUSTMENT TO 1,000 GOURDES (U.S. $15.00) IS ON !
LONG LIVE A UNITED WORKERS STRUGGLE !
THE STRUGGLE HAS JUST BEGUN !
LONG LIVE THE WORKING CLASS STRUGGLE WORLDWIDE !
SOTA-BO, JUNE 19, 2018