Haiti Free Trade Zone - Paramilitaries are helping the bosses

Submitted by Anon on 23 March, 2004 - 8:55

An attempt to violently break the union-organising drive at the Ouanaminthe Free Trade Zone in north-east Haiti on 1-2 March has been met by a wave of international solidarity in support of the Haitian trade unionists.
34 members of the newly formed Sokowa union were fired, and irregular paramilitaries attacked other workers at the Grupo M factory. In response thousands of emails were sent by trade unionists and activists from all over the world, forcing the Grupo M management to meet the Batay Ouvriye (Workers' Fight) union federation.

During the two meetings that took place the factory managers showed a highly disrespectful attitude to the union representatives.

Batay Ouvriye is calling for continuing solidarity in support of the following demands: the reversal of the illegal and arbitrary firing of the union members; an end to anti-union practices; an end to the presence of armed "company security" within the factory precinct; medical care for the injured union member, Ariel Jerome; respectful and meaningful relations with the reconstituted union in order to discuss improved pay and conditions.

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