Batay Ouvriye Banner

March 19, 2006

Comrade Workers,

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. That is how it will show his true face and where it stands.

a) We cannot live on the poverty-wage of 70 Gourdes (US $1.70) a day. We can’t be killing ourselves in the “module” system. From the Jean-Claude Duvalier years till today (20 years), our wages have decreased tremendously. In all factories, there must be a legal minimum wage corresponding to the US $3.00 of the Jean-Claude years. This must be done immediately. Then, we can fight for a real WAGE ADJUSTMENT that will increase under the terms negotiated in our COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS. We should realize, and they must realize that WE NEED A LIVING WAGE! WE CANNOT LIVE ON THE US $3.00. THE BASE SALARY MUST BE 300 GOURDES (US $7.06/day).

b) Industries must respect our RIGHT TO FORM UNIONS. Our Call is: UNIONS IN ALL FACTORIES, COMMITTEES IN ALL SHOPS! IT’S THE LAW.

c) In all factories, management must negotiate COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS with us, while immediately creating better working conditions: OUR DEMANDS ARE ALREADY ON THE TABLE! These contracts will address the module question and other important issues.

Comrade Workers, in the Ouanaminthe Free Trade Zone, our comrades have already reached those objectives. We must learn from their example: Struggle, Win Rights! We must pressure the bourgeoisie to generalize the gains that our comrades already achieved. In Cap-Haitian, some factories have achieved those objectives too, and there is more: at Marnier-Lapostolle (producing for the French Grand Marnier liqueur company), workers earn 300 Gourdes a day! We must follow this path of MOBILIZATION and stand firm in the BATTLE to achieve those 3 objectives.

ORGANIZED WORKERS WILL CERTAINLY WIN!

THE BOURGEOISIE MUST RESPECT OUR RIGHTS!

WE MUST PRESSURE THE STATE AND THE GOVERNMENT TO RESPECT OUR RIGHTS!

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