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Batay Ouvriye (‘Workers Struggle’) is forwarding the public the Chatelain (Lower Artibonite) Community School Management Committee’s first semester report. This school, which the State was supposed to manage, never gave the population any satisfaction; worse, those in charge let the buildings fall into ruin while they spent the funds allocated for the school for their own purposes – we aren’t even sure if they’re not continuing to receive funds destined to the school. Therefore, only through a dire struggle against the reactionaries in the area were we, at Batay Ouvriye , finally able to take over the school, asking all the workers to take their responsibilities in order to form several committees that will take charge of the school. Thus the management committee has worked together with other committees like the academic committee, the contact committee etc…

The process is moving forward in genuine democracy, large and active, where everyone who wants to participate can do so, giving their points of view and mostly collectively controlling the common interest.

We should also state that it is in the context of the struggle generally waged by the workers for land, for irrigation, housing, roads, water …and all other services, that the struggle to take the school in charge is occurring. Therefore, given the absence, corruption and general abandon of the state, given the landowners’ and local reactionaries’ domination and exploitation, the workers are taking their responsibilities in hand. (Read on)

After several months of attempted negotiations, the Batay Ouvriye May First Union Federation and the La Couronne – Northern Branch Labor Union find themselves in a situation in which, over 6 months after the first note we issued in November 2005, we are forced to jump to new levels and publicly denounce the La Couronne Brewery – Coca-Cola Haiti company. (Read on)

Before the elections, Batay Ouvriye said clearly that the principal objective was to stop the “fascist pole” that included bourgeois like Boulos, Baker and a sleuth of pseudo-democrats who were around them or served them as figureheads. Despite all their attempted frauds, despite all their manipulations, the popular masses achieved their objectives. This doesn’t mean that we’ve “killed the beast”. It is alive and on the move. It is even working itself up to slide one way or another into the camp around Preval. We must be aware that this camp can accommodate them. Our Battles must take this into account with rigor.

At the same time, we should clearly realize we are entering a new period. Even though the municipal elections haven’t occurred yet, we can say that the Preval team will occupy the helms of the State. We said clearly that they are not going to do anything for us. On the contrary, they are a bundle of contradictions and will even be facing us. Notwithstanding, we stated that they are coming with better conditions for our Battles. This is very important although the fundamental thing is our Battles.

As of now, we must proceed, and deepen our struggles. They are speaking about “investments in production”. As far as we are concerned, it’s going to be EXTREME EXPLOITATION of the Working Class. Therefore, we, the workers, must be ready to fight head-on. Immediately, to start with, we must pressure the bourgeoisie to respect three things. The Preval administration will have to take a clear stand on them... (Read on)

Batay Ouvriye wishes to inform the press and the public in general that, following the tireless struggles of the SOKOWA-Batay Ouvriye union at the Ouanaminthe free trade zone, and thanks to the vigilance and important commitment of the union sector and national and international progressives, peoples of the whole world will from here on benefit of new standards destined to lessen to some degree the ferocious exploitation of multinationals on the planet ...

The « National Endowment for Democracy », NED, is a U.S. government agency established in 1983 receiving funds from the US State Department to finance projects throughout the world. In recent times, these funds have served to try to overthrow the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela and to allow the 184 bourgeois Group to deploy its activities against the Haitian people. The Aristide administration’s opportunist, populist politics helped, assisted this, in accepting the UN 8221 Resolution admitting the occupations and, especially, opening the door to all sorts of occupation, even the 20,000 U.S. soldiers in 1995!...

The Real Meaning of March 8th -- Most workers in the world don’t know the date of March 8th is of the greatest importance for them. And many of those who do know it don’t realize what the date really represented in history. For us, conscious workers, for whom the struggle is our daily life, it is absolutely necessary we know our true history, the various battles waged by our class and the lessons we should draw from them...

As we stated in our Political Bulletin issued during the electoral campaign (in Creole), the elections, when they are organized by the bourgeoisie and the imperialists - especially in the situation of OCCUPATION we are living -, are always destined TO FURTHER THESE GROUPS’ OWN INTERESTS. The elections may stay stuck in their throats on the way, but in situations such as the present one, it is THEIR APPARATUS that controls the question alone. Indeed, despite the tremendous popular mobilization on election day, despite the constant taking to the streets after to ensure the people’s vote was respected, the bourgeois apparatus continues to interfere, trying to block, steal, cheat. Frauds from the very first day of the election, delaying the process several hours; impediments, hindering the voters from expressing their choice of the “Lespwa” (“Hope”) platform candidate; cheating with maneuvers of manipulation and falsification of the results. ...

As some may know, our Batay Ouvriye workers’ movement has recently been under the attacks of a questionable political current based in the United States. This current has published several articles, individually intervened on the internet, hosted presentations and debates, and held various other activities questioning our sources of funding. According to the latest article published by Sprague “Batay Ouvriye’s Smoking Gun” (Haiti-Progrès, Jan. 4 - 10, 2006): “Instead of supporting unions which did not call for the overthrow of the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the AFL-CIO, along with mainstream international labor centers… has sought to strengthen marginal groups like Batay Ouvriye…”. Here, at long last, we have reached the bottom of this current’s reasoning. According to it, these funds, regularly funneled to Haiti through the NED-ACILS relationship ($250,000 in 1997, for example - whose utilization, as all others, except perhaps for those of 2005, thanks to the ‘researcher’ -, we are completely ignorant of) should have been allocated elsewhere. But where? ...

We, at Batay Ouvriye, want to take the opportunity of the year beginning to salute the TWU's Local 100 recent courageous battle. We have no doubt on the justness and legitimacy of the workers' demands and the ardor with which they have battled to obtain their satisfaction. The permanent mobilization they maintained, despite the repression of the New York authorities and the press supporting these dominant structures and individuals will remain an example that the working class can continue to put forward when confronting its major enemies...

Throughout 2005, Haitian workers and small merchants in the Dominican Republic were subjected to the worst horrors. Thousands and thousands of deportees, under completely illegal and inhuman conditions in which the putrid smell of racism invariably leaked, black-skinned Dominicans sometimes rounded up as part of the same group! Hundreds and hundreds assassinated, burnt alive, pursued and summarily expelled, in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Mao, Barahona, Higuey... Their houses set on fire, their personal belongings stolen... even Haitian students in this neighbor country were ill-treated. All this under the eyes of the police and the local authorities, as well as those of the central authorities who were totally aware of these crimes but chose to deny the facts calling them, at best, “isolated incidents”. The level of the conflict heightened one notch when the Dominican president himself complicated the situation by blurting out, referring to the Haitian immigrant workers, that "è pa fuera que van! (`Haitians: Out!' )"1. The high clergy of the Catholic Church also played its partition, endorsing the criminal acts, and even proceeded to organize the expulsion of a priest loyal to the Haitian cause, Father Ruquoy....

Batay Ouvriye firmly opposes the strike call put out for January 9th, 2006. Yes, we realize the MINUSTAH politicians are mocking the population, while supposedly “stabilizing”, they’re actually reinforcing their domination day after day. Yes, we clearly know the MINUSTAH soldiers are establishing all sorts of rackets with the very gangs they’re supposed to be fighting. Yes, we clearly think that the directionless violence these gangs are operating should be completely eliminated from the country (it isn’t in favor of the workers, it is against the masses themselves, as we just denounced it and demonstrated it in our last January 2nd communiqué). But we also clearly know also that: 1. The group which sent out this appeal has never been in solidarity in the least with all the mobilization of worker and popular organizations who’ve been attempting to fight against the rising cost of living and gas prices, or in support of the small merchants and cooperative members whose money was stolen, etc… Quite the contrary, they benefited from the misery spreading out over all the popular masses from day to day. They’re the big businessmen establishing the prices of all the products and as long as their own profits were guaranteed by the government, then they were all set...

During the end of 2005, particularly during these last two weeks, while the politicians thrashed about in their tenuous electoral process and the imperialists daily reinforced their stronghold on this process as well as the national situation generally, repression and terror continued with ever more force. This state of affairs had already reached a climax in November in the Pelé neighbourhood, when MINUSTAH soldiers literally machine-gunned the population. Presently, even more and with greater intensity, this climate is spreading throughout the country, particularly in Port-au-Prince.

The areas mainly targeted are Cité Soleil and Drouillard. Their inhabitants incapable of finding another place to stay have undergone the worse torments. They’ve been caught in a vise. On one hand, the armed gangs continue to exert their terror. The press, TV included, widely reports these abuses so as to denounce the gangs and thus attain its’ political objectives. Certainly, these acts should be denounced, but we also have to unveil their political connections, know their true backers and understand their nature in the context of the decay the country is falling into each day more and more... (Read on)

Being attacked by the enemy is an excellent thing. But only to the extent we are able to transform the attack, as a negative element, into a positive aspect in the general interest of the working class... (Read on)

Already in 2001, Batay Ouvriye had published a document showing how the “long ‘big-eater’ La Couronne drinks are sweet, they’re big, but working at La Couronne brewery isn’t sweet!!!”. The workers of this industry, owned by Raymond Jaar, indicated the wrong wages, hellish work conditions, intransigent owners, firings, absence of employment security and anti-union repression. We concluded by saying that “drinking ‘big-eaters’ is good and sweet…, but making them is hell”! Today, once again, we’re raising our voice to denounce the despotic and illegal actions of La Couronne brewery. (Read on)

Last week, the occupying troops in the country committed one more exaction yet. Jordanian soldiers rammed down the gate to the Larco soft drink factory, barged into the plant, forced people to lay flat on the ground, beat them and humiliated them. They also entered the ECEM industry and did the same thing. Amongst the victims, the majority were plant workers. At Larco, they threatened to return. Batay Ouvriye is raising its voice to denounce these acts of outright violence and abuse.(Read on)

Batay Ouvriye is informing the public in general and concerned friends, in particular, of a bloodbath in the making once again in the country. This time, it is in the 5th communal section of Arcahaie that a bloody plot is being prepared. Indeed, after having dismissed the past mayor for all of the stealing he committed, a new one was installed: Wilbert Casséus, supposedly to resolve the situation. But this was actually adding fuel to fire! (Read on)

From the first to the fourth of December 2005, the XVth Congress of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) took place in Havana, Cuba. Through the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC), our organization, Batay Ouvriye, was invited to participate as an observer... (Read on)

Textile production is one of the most internationalized branches of capitalism today. Indeed, due to its incapacity to become computerized or even seriously mechanized, it was forced to constantly research the cheapest wage labor possible in order to remain within average rates of profits. In this context, delocalization, first affects factories within the United States itself. Faced with this situation, various leaders of the working class, or even the political or religious realms, found themselves obliged not only to pose the problem clearly but also to move their organizations towards the dominated countries to convey solidarity with working class struggles there, in the objective of attempting to establish a better equilibrium, in their own interest... (Read on)

Today, Batay Ouvriye is placing a NEWSLETTER at everybody’s disposal. We do this in the objective of diffusing news of our own struggles, of our practices in general. But it is especially geared towards informing the peoples’ camp, nationally and internationally, of news that indeed are its own, but furthermore are the fundamental news happening today, at the very basis of Haiti’s problems: the new fundamental evolution of the Haitian social formation... (Read on)

In our first News Bulletin, we stated we would have to return to our practices in Port-au-Prince. Several comrades and friends who read that bulletin felt the need concretely. So this time, we are giving more importance to this area… (Read on)

On September 25th, 2005, we, at Batay Ouvriye, learned that a supposed “tribunal” organized by the Haiti Progrès current, the International Action Center and Kakola (amongst others) during that weekend hosted a presentation by a journalist/history student, Jeb Sprague, in which he alleged that our organization was a main recipient of United States government funds destined to overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. According to Sprague, these funds from the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center, one of the four primary conduits of three million dollars in such blatant imperialist projects, went from Batay Ouvriye to a “sub-grantee”, Socowa, thus converting this workers’ movement into the unwitting “co-conspirators” of an unholy alliance fabricated by the State Department... (Read on)

While the Haitian authorities continue to never assume their responsibilities concerning the abuses our compatriots are undergoing in the DR, it is Dominican progressive organizations themselves who, in the United States, are mobilizing with Haitian and international solidarity organizations in front of the consulates, in front of the U.N… It is this same coalition that is also informing us on the Central America Free Trade Agreement - Dominican Republic (CAFTA - DR) presently being discussed in the US congress and about to be passed. Here, we are adapting a Grassroots Haiti Solidarity statement on this question. We are addressing it to the press and some electronic list servers, as well as to the public in general.(Read on)

To the population in general and more particularly all those who have followed the conflict opposing the Ouanaminthe CODEVI workers’ union (SOCOWA), the Batay Ouvriye May First Union Federation (ESPM-BO) and the company itself, we are sending to the press a copy of the verdict sentenced at the Fort-Liberté tribunal by Judge Joseph Alfred MANIGAT. The judgment opposed two workers (Mr. Phélicien MICHEL and Mrs. Louna ELFRAUS) who were mistreated by the Dominican army, against the head security officer of the free trade zone (Mr. Alex CORONA) and the company in the name of which he so acted, CODEVI itself.

As indicated by the tribunal’s document, it is with stick and rifle butt blows the head security officer hit the workers, during work hours and as workers, Mrs. Elfraus being in full pregnancy! Left on the floor and soaking in their blood, furthermore according to the sentence, it is indeed the company that had solicited such a behavior from their head security agent. Judge Manigat’s verdict thus gives full reason to the workers. It demands for Alex Corona to undergo three years of imprisonment and for the company to pay one million gourdes of damage to each worker.(Read on)