Better Work Haiti
This report presents the changes and developments that have occurred during the last six months which have an impact on the Better Work Haiti programme and broadly on the apparel sector in Haiti.
♦ Two new factories registered to the Better Work Haiti programme in the reporting period and will be assessed for the first time in Spring 2014. In the context of mandatory participation, factories register and engage in the programme as soon as production begins.
♦ The Conseil Supérieur des Salaires (CSS) which was established in August 2013 presented its report to the Government of Haiti in November 2013 recommending an increase in the minimum wage in certain sectors. In the report, the garment industry was recommended to increase the minimum wage of reference to 225 Gourdes per day. However, there has not been a final decision yet taken by the Government of Haiti on the report of the CSS.
♦ Following the release of the CSS report and recommendations, workers walked off the job in Port-au-Prince in early December 2013, calling for a higher increase in the minimum wage, up to 500 Gourdes for the sector. The protests by the workers disrupted production and resulted in some violence. In the context of these events, a number of workers from different factories were dismissed. As of the writing of this report, several cases are under review at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.
♦ A new ILO project to strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MAST) has been launched in March 2014. The project, which will work closely together with the Better Work Haiti programme, is particularly looking at ways to support the labour inspectorate of MAST.
♦ In 2013, the tripartite HOPE commission has been starting to work on the establishment of a “comprehensive learning and quality of life enhancement program designed to ensure the competitiveness of Haitian workers especially in the apparel manufacturing”. The goal of the SKOA program (Sant Kompetitivite Ouvrye Ayisyen) is to provide supportive, educational and wage enhancement services to current and future workers employed in the apparel sector in order to contribute to a more productive and globally competitive workforce in the sector. The program is supposed to cover the Industrial Metropolitan Park SONAPI/ PIM, the Industrial Park Caracol in the North, as well as CODEVI/ Ouanaminthe. SKOA courses planned are intended to cover a variety of garment production skills development courses, professional development opportunities for workers (language skills, IT, mathematics etc.) as well as a number of other services such as an office of the Labour Ombudsperson, MAST and others in near reach of the workers. CTMO-HOPE is preparing the program and is currently seeking longterm partners to support this initiative with the aim to start activities in 2014.
♦ The president of CTMO-HOPE has set-up a cooperation with the Government of Mexico to offer 50 post secondary scholarships in 2014, which will be awarded to qualified employees and high school graduates whose parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles work in the apparel sector.
Compliance synthesis reports for each of its country programmes, presenting analysis of non-compliance at the aggregate level. The goal of these reports is to provide transparent information for all programme stakeholders regarding working conditions in the factories participating in the programme.