The situation with workers in Haiti is intensifying. The autonomous workers movement (Batay Ouvriye) is continuing its struggle to raise their minimum wage from the current 300 Gourdes (a little less than $5 US a day) to 800 Gourdes (about $12 US) among other demands. Our brothers and sisters suffer daily under the brutal exploitation of the Haitian and international Factory owning capitalists and the Haitian state. The factory owners make millions off the labor of the workers who face homelessness and make so little that they are in constant debt trying to secure food for a day (often skipping meals). All the while the Haitian capitalists and the international factory owners use the news media such as “Le Nouvelliste” in Haiti and “The Miami Herald” in the US to not only spread distortions and lies but openly call for repression against the workers sending in police and Haitian swat units to beat, arrest, gas, and use other means of state violence against people struggling to survive.
Here we reprint the latest leaflet that was circulated among the working class in Haiti to not only spread the workers voice which you will never find in the billionaire capitalist’s media, but to show our readers and potential members how brave, combative, advanced, and intelligent these workers are in some of the worst conditions in the world, and encourage anyone reading this to join us. Workers Struggle salutes the workers courage and hope to build organizations in the US of workers and by workers to fight for their common interests. Imagine if we all stood together, we can move the world to our drum! Join us and let’s show the best solidarity we can by building our own organizations!
Concept to clarify:
Popular masses – This is used in the leaflet text to describe all other classes in society who are not workers exploited through the production process but are dominated in other ways and whose interests are better off with the workers than capitalists such as students, small vendors, teachers, etc
Bourgeoisie – This is a term of French origin identifying the capitalist class as a whole. All the factory owners, everyone who exploits the labor of the working class!
Batay Ouvriye # 6
We are waging a very difficult struggle to win 800 Gourdes ($11.43) at the least and other social benefits. It’s being waged with determination and the engagement of many of us and carried out on the basis of a coordination among our unions. This is a big step. At the same time, our mobilization allowed us to see all our enemies making assaults against us. They set the repressive forces loose against us under false pretexts, they brutalize us to stop us from protesting and making known our demands. In addition, the capitalists are attacking the workers who participated in the protests by firing them, hit them with suspensions and other disciplinary measures such as expulsions. What’s clear: whether we talk about the state or the capitalists, THEY ARE ALL AGAINST US! They are all aligned against our interests as workers and the popular masses. Our enemies stand out clearly. Facing this fact, our awareness must become sharper and our fighting organizations must consolidate so our struggles may go further.
Now, we’ve reached a point where our mass protests on the streets have come to a halt but our demands have not been met yet. This is why we must continue:
1) work to raise awareness, unify ourselves and consolidate our organizations
2) Push the capitalists to the negotiating table to remove the repressive measures they take against us such as firings, suspensions, discrimination against our union members and their interference in union activities
3) Pay attention and evaluate what the government, particularly the social affairs minister is doing to respond to our demands
4)consolidate the coordination, “tying shoes” to relaunch our mobilization if our demands are not met.
Our mobilization this time must gather more strength and the participation of all categories of laborers in the struggle to adjust the minimum wage and other social benefits. So, we are leading the way in making alliances with other classes in the popular masses to step into the road of rising up which is necessary to begin to break the domination of the ruling classes and the repression of their reactionary state. It’s all clear: In the current rotteness of the social and political climate of the country, we must fight for a new state for a complete and total change. The current state has reached its limits.
DOWN WITH THE RUSES AND MYSTIFICATION OF THE SUPREME SALARY COUNCIL (CSS)!
DOWN WITH THE EXPLOITATION, REPRESSION AND DOMINATION OF THE RULING CLASSES, PARTICULARLY THE BOURGEOISIE IN THE TEXTILE FACTORIES!
DOWN WITH THE FOOT-DRAGGING OF THE EXECUTIVE ON THE QUESTION OF THE MINIMUM SALARY!
LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLES OF THE POPULAR MASSES WITH THE LABORERS AS BACKBONE UNDER THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP OF THE WORKING CLASS!