Industry Update/National Response
- The government is expanding its door food kit delivery to alleviate food shortage due to COVID-19.
- The government has received a second delivery of medical equipment and PPE as of 12 May.
- The government of Haiti issued an executive order to close all industrial parks initially until early April to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the order remains in effect. A multisector commission has been created to assess the situation and make related recommendations.
- The government has been mobilized to respond to COVID-19 and will pay workers half their wages during the lockdown. The Ministry of Finance has transferred 50% of the salaries to the factories to pay the workers directly.
- On 30 March, the government authorized the reopening of some factories to produce medical and sanitary materials and equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. On 10 April, the employers association of Haiti (ADIH) issued a list of 24 factories approved for this purpose, 12 of which participate in Better Work Haiti.
- Factories in the garment sector are also offering 1 million free masks for distribution to the local population.
- A new technical commission (comprised of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Public Health and Population, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor) has been created to oversee the operations of the authorized factories and have developed new guidance that includes requirements regarding restricting crowds, social distancing, hand-washing, temperature measuring, and distribution of protective equipment to workers. This group has conducted inspection visits at the factories to assess their compliance to the recommendations.
Factory Services Update
- Factory visits, including assessments, are suspended until further notice.
- Advisory services are being delivered virtually with a focus on response to COVID-19, and the Better Work team is incorporating technical guidance for best practices.
- Better Work is assisting factory representatives on improvements and remediation efforts on pending and recurring issues.
- Better Work is adapting materials to share with tripartite partners.
- Better Work has completed translation to Haitian creole of OSH adapted training. The first training session is scheduled for 22 May.
- Better Work is using instant messaging to hold a close communication with stakeholders and share updated information on COVID-19.
Additional Better Work Activities
- Better Work is liaising with all stakeholders to limit the impact on workers and business and identify a collective approach to support the industry.
- In collaboration MAST, Better Work is developing a “Guide for Better Response to COVID-19 for participating factories” and audio messages to educate and raise awareness among stakeholders for common understanding of labour related recommendations during COVID-19.
- Better Work is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the garment sector to better understand their challenges and find ways to support them.
- Better Work Haiti is supporting the newly created technical commission to discuss how to support factories that are allowed to produce protective equipment.
- Considering workers’ concerns and questions, Better Work has been engaging with the bipartite and OSH committees to broadcast key provisions of national and international labour standards relevant to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.