Court victory for Haiti union

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:43

A Haitian court has ordered the Grupo M Free Trade Zone located on the Haitian-Dominican border to pay 1.5 million gourdes (approximately US$40,000) in damages for violations of workers’ rights.

The ruling is good news for the workers and for Batay Ouvriye, the union attempting to unionise the FTZ.

In the UK the Haiti Support Group and No Sweat have both been actively helping the Batay Ouvriye initiative.

The FTZ workers are employed by Grupo M, a large Dominican firm, to stitch clothes for the Sara Lee Corporation and for Levi’s.

A series of protests have aimed to highlight Levi’s role, and to pressure Levi’s to insist that the union is allowed into the area and that victimised union members are allowed back to work.

The Haiti Support Group reports that Grupo M have now agreed to talks with the union.

If the workers are allowed back, and the union becomes established, the Haitian labour movement will have won an important victory.

More on the background to this victory at www.nosweat.org.uk. Keep up the pressure! Contribute to our fundraising drive for Bataye Ouvriye.

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