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November 5, 2007


Since May of 2007, there has been an ongoing crisis in CD Apparel, an assembly factory located in Building 3, in the SONAPI Industrial Park in Port-au-Prince , Haiti . This factory was producing clothing apparel for Hanes until suddenly Hanes withdrew all of its contracts and forced its closure. According to the Haitian factory owner, Frantz Pilorge, it seems that this came about because of a plot against him by two other big Haitian bourgeois factory owners, Apaid and Richard Coles who also have contracts with Hanes. That's their concern. But on the other hand, more than 500 workers have been laid off as a result of this. Although these workers have been paid their “legal” severance, this was only worth a pittance, particularly since wages in Haiti are so low. In these circumstances, the workers should be duly compensated; they should be paid a real severance, the same way that Hanes treats workers in other countries in a similar situation. There should be no discrimination against Haitian workers! We should not accept any discrimination!

The struggle for just severance pay is a matter of justice. And the workers who are engaged in this struggle have been raising these demands since May of 2007. They have held demonstrations and other forms of mobilization. They have maintained unity in raising their demands. They are waging a legal struggle to be justly compensated for the unprincipled closure of the factory. These workers are seeking international solidarity and they have built a web site to promote their struggle:.

For us in Batay Ouvriye (Workers' Struggle), this struggle, which has been going on since May, shows the determination of these workers to confront the greed of transnational capitalists and their local bourgeois agents, and to demand justice. Pilorge thought he could use these workers against his competitors, but this struggle has shown clearly that interests of workers and bosses can never be the same.

Yes, for us in Batay Ouvriye , this is a struggle that must be supported with all our strength.  We must force Hanes to compensate the workers justly. We must also work to link this struggle to the global struggle of the working class.

Nowadays, bourgeois capitalists in Haiti are uniting against workers. These secondary contradictions between Pilorge and his competitors disappear when it comes down to confronting the working class as a whole, (such as in the struggle to raise the minimum wage, to reform the Labor Code and to defend the rights of workers against the spread of capitalist globalization.) Therefore, our solidarity with the workers of CD Apparel is a necessity. It's our duty as militants, as progressives, and as friends who always support workers' struggles. It's a necessity and a duty for workers all over. It's part of our struggle against capitalist globalization and against imperialism.

Factories are closing down in Haiti , while they are promoting the newly enacted HOPE act. This legislation has no benefit whatsoever for workers or for the national interest of Haiti . While they are clamoring about creating jobs, workers are losing their jobs without any compensation and are subjected to discrimination. This should reveal to us the true nature of their policies!

Once again, Batay Ouvriye raises an appeal for international solidarity with the struggles of the workers of CD Apparel. We won the struggle to reinstate unjustly fired workers in the Ounaminthe free trade zone. International solidarity was important to this victory. We can and we must struggle to win again in this case. We must rely on our struggles, on our determination, and on national and international solidarity with our struggles. That is why Batay Ouvriye is launching a campaign of solidarity with the struggles of the workers of CD Apparel.

Send your letters to Hanes!

rich.noll@hanesbrands.com ; Gerald.evans@hanesbrands.com ; ir@hanesbrands.com


Send your letters to CD Apparel!

rjbaker@pfbia.com


Let's make Hanes pay just compensation to the workers!


Please cc your solidarity letters to the workers of CD Apparel, at ouvrierscdapparel600haiti@yahoo.fr, and to  Batay Ouvriye , at batay@batayouvriye.org.