This just in from Batay Ouvriye:
Anti-union dismissals at the brewery in Cap-Haïtien- 17 March 2007
After the dramatic events of 2003, when the management of the Brasserie du Nord (owned by Michael Madsen, a rich businessman of Danish descent and a leader of the Haitian Liberal Party) had several workers beaten and imprisoned for claiming their labour and union rights (see http://www.batayouvriye.org/English/Dossiers1/Brasserieupdate.html and http://www.labournet.net/world/0308/haiti1.html), the same reprehensible and antiquated anti-trade union practices are now being repeated.
On February 5, 2007, the trade union submitted to the company management the provisional registration authorising it to function that had been issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. Then, in the following few days, first the union's treasurer was dismissed, and then 45 other workers were fired. The near total solidarity of the remainder of the workers at the establishment suggested that they would soon follow.
Then, this week, the Brasserie du Nord closed its doors altogether. Is it a lockout? No notification was given to the Ministry's Labour Office, and consequently the brewery workers consider that it is a clear incident of abuse by the employer and that they are owed all their salaries for this period. They have sent a formal letter demanding the urgent intervention of the Ministry concerned.
At Batay Ouvriye, we are continuing and will continue to stand up against such abuses of the basic rights of workers in Haiti. Remember that the Brasserie du Nord is the distributor of Pepsi-Cola, Prestige beer, and King Cola, for all this area of the country.
LET'S ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE MULTINATIONALS' ABUSES IN HAITI!
DOWN WITH THE EMPLOYERS' ANTI-UNION REPRESSION!
LONG LIVE THE HAITIAN WORKERS' STRUGGLE!