4 – Systematic violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index


The ITUC affiliates in Haiti are the Confédération des Travailleurs des Secteurs Public & Privé (CTSP), the Confédération des Travailleurs Haïtiens (CTH) and the Coordination Syndicale Haïtienne (CSH).

In practice

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Creation of a union close to the government, works councils in export processing zone, unions discriminated against and crushed01-01-2016

In 2016, the Confédération des Travailleurs des Secteurs Public et Privé (CTSP) sent a report to the ITUC denouncing the collusion between the government and the Front Syndical Haïtien (FSH). According to Jean Bonald Golinsky, head of the CTSP, the authorities orchestrated the formation of the so-called Front, in a bid to prevent other unions from making their voice heard. During the transport 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 February 2015, Joseph Montes, the coordinator of the FSH, strongly criticised the action being led by a platform of trade unions from the transport sector, maintaining that the 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
was politically motivated. Joseph Montes is also a director of the state transport company Service Plus, from which he reportedly dismissed a large number of workers in the past, including all the trade union representatives. The head of the CTSP also reported that the nine members of the Post Office trade union committee dismissed in 2012 had not yet been reinstated despite the demand of the Citizen Protection Office (OPC), an independent institution, although set up by the state. He points out that anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

is the rule in Haiti, particularly in private sector companies, such as the BRANA brewery, in the banking sector and in the export processing zones, where works councils have been set up – often by the employers – despite the presence of trade unions.

Continued repression at BRANA brewery01-08-2015

Leaders of the Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses de BRANA (SYTBRANA) were threatened and two members were dismissed in August 2015. On 1 September, another employee, Wilson Celiné, suffered the same fate. At the beginning of 2015, he had been given permission to take part in a trade union workshop organised by the Canadian union Teamsters, but also received barely-disguised threats from a manager that his safety was at risk. Not long after, he narrowly escaped serious injury when one of his superiors restarted a bottle washing machine while he was conducting maintenance work on it. On 1 September, Wilson Celiné was dismissed. Two managers deigned to justify the decision by telling him that his profile no longer met the company’s needs (although he had been working there for ten years) and that, no doubt, the complaint he had filed against his superior following the accident at the plant had not helped. At international level, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) sent a mission to investigate the situation at the brewery. The Canadian union Teamsters and a number of other unions put pressure on the brewing giant Heineken to ensure respect for trade union rights at its Haitian subsidiary BRANA.

Haiti national brewery tries to get union to sign away its bargaining rights05-03-2015

Haiti’s national brewery, BRANA, tried to get its workers’ union, SYTBRANA, to sign an agreement whereby negotiations between the union and the employer would be restricted to general issues “aimed at improving the performance of the enterprise”. No individual demands could be dealt with under the terms of the draft agreement. In addition to seeking to reduce the union’s bargaining rights to virtually nothing, BRANA also referred in the draft text to a company rule banning the distribution of printed materials by the union without the management’s permission. Furthermore, in a letter dated 5 March 2015, BRANA even tried to stop the union from calling itself SYTBRANA.

Riot police violently disrupt May Day march01-05-2015

Riot police from the intervention and peacekeeping corps CIMO blocked May Day marchers as they arrived in the centre of Port-au-Prince to conclude their march by rallying around the statue of a revolutionary hero. The police hurled tear gas grenades at the marchers, beat them and arrested two students. The main participants in the march were workers from Haiti’s garment assembly sector who took part to mark International Workers’ Day and to highlight their campaign for a minimum wage of 500 gourdes (USD 12.96) per day. It was organised by Batay Ouvriye (Workers’ Struggle) and the Textile and Garment Workers’ Union (SOTA), and backed by the Popular Democratic Movement (MODEP).


The Haitian government does not consult unions on labour law and policy reforms. Although the independence of the judiciary is enshrined in the Constitution of Haiti and other legal instruments, there are major shortcomings in practice. For example, in a case that concerned the dismissal of public servants, the Labour Court decided it had no jurisdiction over the case and referred it to the Administrative Court which also decided it had no jurisdiction. Union members often face discrimination and dismissal by management. For example, all union leaders working for the Post Office of Haiti were dismissed. Other companies targeting union leaders for dismissal are the Archives Nationales d’Haïti, the Presses Nationales d’Haïti, the Office Assurance Vieillesse and Transport Service Plus.

ONA employees unfairly dismissed22-04-2014

The Office National d’Assurance-Vieillesse (ONA), the national agency in charge of managing private sector pensions, has been in turmoil since Tuesday 25 March 2014. After being unfairly dismissed by the director general, ONA employees held a 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
to demand his removal. The director general responded by closing the doors of the institution and has not reopened it to date. Special police forces have taken over the premises and surrounded the institution. This police presence has no other mission but to arrest employees demanding their rights.

Union leaders fired over wage protests16-01-2014

Six workers at the One World Apparel S.A. garment assembly plant in the north of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, were given notices of dismissal on 8 January 2014, four weeks after workers shut down production in the city’s apparel sector with 10 and 11 December protests demanding a daily minimum wage of 500 gourdes (about US$ 12.08). The fired workers –Jude Pierre, Luckner Louis, Deroy Jean Baptiste, Paul René Pierre, Jean Luvard Exavier and Rubin Mucial – are all on the executive committee of the Textile and Garment Workers Union (SOTA), a member union in the Collective of Textile Union Organizations (KOSIT), the labour alliance that led the December protests.

Dismissal of 7 trade union members from the WILLBES company09-09-2013

On 9 September 2013, the ITUC protested about the dismissals of 10 trade union members and leaders from the SYNOTRA-GWH/CATH trade union that were working at the WILLBES company. The entire trade union management committee and 2 trade union members were dismissed.

Interference by employers16-08-2013

Members of FENATCO (Fédération nationale des travailleurs en constructions) denounced that unionised Haitian workers were discriminated against in hiring processes for large reconstruction building projects in favour of non-unionised labourers from the Dominican Republic.

Anti-union discrimination27-01-2013

Garments factory Modas Gloria Apparel S.A. (MGA) learned about the formation of a union on 27 January 2013 during a training session on 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
organised by Better Work, which was attended by both union representatives and management. On February 4, the eleven workers were dismissed without cause. The average seniority was two years. It was later claimed that they were dismissed for poor performance and quality, in spite of the fact these same workers had been commended on December 20 for their good productivity.

Serious obstacles to organising30-11-2011

The formal economy only employs 2% of the active population. Attempts to organise in the export processing zones meet with serious obstacles and only one collective agreement has been concluded. Labourers work without protective equipment on construction sites. The vast majority of workers rely on precarious work in the informal economy and many continue to live in makeshift shelters. Under such circumstances, decent work and international conventions are often abstract concepts. Organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. workers in unions, defending their rights and strengthening trade union organisations thus remain a major challenge.

Employer impunity30-11-2009

The government has never fined an employer for interference in a union’s internal affairs, despite the fact that such acts are prohibited by the Labour Code. Enquiries into abuses committed against trade unionists rarely produce results.

Hostility toward union organising30-11-2009

As a result of political turmoil, a climate of violence, record unemployment and the complicity of a weak state, employers have enjoyed absolute freedom. Those trying to organise workers in a union are constantly harassed or dismissed, generally in breach of the labour legislation. To prevent workers from joining unions, employers give bonuses to those who are not union members.

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