2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Dominican Republic

The ITUC affiliates in the Dominican Republic are the Confederación Autónoma Sindical Clasista (CASC), the Confederación Nacional de Trabajadores Dominicanos (CNTD) and the Confederación Nacional de Unidad Sindical (CNUS).

In practice

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Five workers shot at for asking to be paid09-06-2015

Five Haitian workers working on the construction site of the hospital Darío Contreras were wounded by buckshot when a security employee fired on them. The wounded were named as Yoselen Muluis, Delice Widlais, Jumeil Joseph, Ezequiel Olelouse and another worker named Michel. Tensions had arisen over plans to lay off most of the workforce, and to pay them for fewer days than they had expected. An eye witness claimed to have spoken with one of the soldiers involved, and the soldier said he was paid by the construction engineer to prevent the workers from entering the construction site and to fire on the workers. The wounded were taken to hospital to be treated. The army sergeant responsible for the shooting was arrested for questioning.

Harassment, arrest and dismissal of leaders of air traffic controllers union09-02-2015

Members of the Asociación Dominicana de Controladores de Tránsito Aéreo (ADCA) came under sustained attack from the government when they tried to warn of serious safety issues. Instead of remedying the issues, the government sought to silence the ADCA, responding with suspensions followed by sackings, demotions and retaliation against the air traffic controllers. This included arrests of members making peaceful protests on three occasions in late January and early February 2015 and the arrest of three of its officials in 2014. The ADCA had communicated with the office of the general director of the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC) numerous times concerning safety-related issues in the country’s air traffic control system but received no reply. The safety concerns flagged up by the ADCA included a total communications failure in Punta Cana; unserviceable navigation aids at La Isabela International Airport; the breakdown of the distance measuring equipment at El Catey Presidente Juan Bosch Airport and the control tower at Puerto Plata Gregorio Luperon International Airport working with only an emergency radio for over a year; and suffering frequent communications failures.

Twenty eight members of the ADCA, including the union’s leaders, were sacked in February 2014 for drawing attention to safety issues, and had not been reinstated. On 9 February 2015 the Americas regional secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Antonio Rodriguez Fritz, was arrested just hours before he was due to give a joint press conference with the national trade union centre trade union centre A central organisation at the national, regional or district level consisting of affiliated trade unions. Often denotes a national federation or confederation. CNTD (Confederación Nacional de Trabajadores Dominicanos). Antonio Fritz was in the country on a fact-finding mission to investigate its air traffic control problems. He was released without charge after seven hours in custody, but his detention was an example of the tactics used by the government to harass, gag and break the ADCA. Antonio Fritz said: “None of the police officers was able to explain the reasons for my arrest, since clearly no law had been broken. This has been a valuable lesson about the regular intimidation of ADCA members, who had already been detained four times in similar conditions and are now prohibited even from writing reports about incidents in the country’s airspace.”

Flobeman SRL denies right to unionise01-07-2014

Flobeman SRL owns the well-known bread and baked goods brands Molino del Sol and Mi Trigo in the Dominican Republic.

In December 2013, a group of workers formed an executive committee, fulfilled all the requirements established by the labour authorities and secured the registration of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Flobeman SRL.

On 30 January 2014, the executive committee informed the company of the union’s formation. Six days later, the company fired its general secretary, Gendis Báez, and two other leaders, without any regard for the law protecting union representatives from dismissal.

The company also lodged an appeal with the Court of First Instance to cancel the union’s registration.

Unfair dismissals at Coca Cola13-12-2013

On 3 December, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Bepensa Dominicana S.A. (SINATRABEDSA-Coca Cola) staged a demonstration in protest at the unfair dismissal of two trade union members from the Coca Cola distribution centre in Barahona, in the southwest of the country.

Anti-trade union dismissals at Kola Real24-09-2013

In July 2013, a few months after its legal constitution, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Industrias San Miguel Kola Real (SINTRAKORE) came under attack from the management, which fired practically all the members of the union’s executive.

Pollo Cibao dismisses trade union leaders24-09-2013

In April 2012, after several attempts, the workers at Pollo Cibao successfully notified the company and the Ministry of Labour that they had formed a trade union. The following month, 60 workers who were members of the trade union were dismissed, including the President, Amaury Consoró Guzmán.

Anti-trade union dismissal at CIGT24-09-2013

As soon as the company was notified about the setting up of the union, the Ingeniería, Gestión y Tecnología (CIGT) company launched a campaign against the main leaders, dismissing the Secretary for Demands and Disputes, Heriberto Altagracia Adames.

Anti-union dismissals at Agrofem31-01-2013

The Federación Nacional de la Alimentación (Fenta) condemned the dismissals and repression of trade union rights at the agricultural production company Agrofem. The workers set up their trade union in January 2013 and the company immediately initiated a campaign of harassment, dismissing trade union leaders and members. To date, there have been 16 unfair dismissals.

Anti-union discrimination16-08-2013

84 Haitian coconut peelers were dismissed from the coconut farm Coquera Kilómetro 5, after trying to form a union. Rafael Emilio Alonso Luna, the owner of the plantation refused to give severance pay to the workers. The workers filed a complaint with the Labour Court in San Cristobal.

Threat to intervene in strike action08-05-2012

When the Federación Nacional de Transporte Dominicano (FENATRADO), a union of truck drivers, stated that it would go on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 8 May 2012, 12 days before the general elections, the Central Electoral Board threatened to use the armed forces to transport the materials to be used in the elections. Fenatrado president Blas Peralta said the Government owes the union approximately DOP 300 million. This debt has been outstanding for over six years.

Government indifference to freedom of association violations 31-12-2010
Workers’ rights not respected in EPZs30-11-2009
Complete lack of protection of Haitian workers30-11-2009

Most of the workers on the sugar plantations are undocumented Haitians. They do not have the right to form unions or therefore to bargain collectively. Employers prefer to hire them as a means of evading the law and paying lower wages.

Use of flexible contracts makes organising difficult30-11-2009

In the stagnating formal economy, companies are increasingly imposing so-called “flexible” terms of employment, which are gradually stripping workers of their rights and indirectly hindering freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
. Subcontracting represents a particularly serious obstacle, as it means that workers are constantly being moved to different companies, thus hampering union organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. . In addition, they do not have a contract with the employer at their actual workplaces, which makes collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
impossible even when workers do manage to set up a union. The practice of cancelling contracts every three months leaves workers in a state of perpetual insecurity, increasing their dependence on their employers and leaving them under the constant threat of losing their jobs.

Collective bargaining restricted30-11-2009
Restrictions in the public sector30-11-2009

Given that a majority of formal economy workers are state employees, the exercise of the right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in the country is limited due to the prohibition of strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action for civil servants. What is more, despite the Law on the Civil Service and Administrative Careers, mass dismissals take place in the public sector without any guarantee of the employees receiving the required compensation.

Lax enforcement of laws on anti-union discrimination30-11-2009

Even though the law prohibits dismissals of trade union members and their leaders for trade union activities, it is generally not applied and the penalties are not sufficiently dissuasive to prevent employers from violating workers’ rights. Dismissals of the founding members of a union that is denied registration by the administrative authorities are not unheard of.

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