Crippling strike in Haiti rages on for second week after failure of government to reach agreement with strikers

Posted by on Monday, March 12, 2018 Under: Economy
Related image

Since Monday, March 5th, the employees of post and customs offices across Haiti, have been on strike, demanding that the government publish the agreement they signed back in January 2017, which guaranteed customs workers a raise, and was suppose to take effect 90 days after its signing.

The Haitian government seems to have changed its mind, because more than year later, the agreement is still not published, and has initiated new rounds of negotiations which have degenerated after the Minister of Finance,  Jude Patrick Alix Salomon, has referred to the demands of workers as blackmail.
He said that the government has already given the workers a 40% raise of what they agreed upon and that the full raise isn’t expected until October 2018, as per the agreement signed in 2017.

Strike maintained, Haitian government bypass custom workers

The spokesman for the Association of Haitian Customs, Michel Nelson, confirmed late Sunday night, that the strike is maintained for Monday March 12th and took the opportunity to condemn the decision of the Haitian government to by-pass custom agents, by sending police and security forces to post and customs offices to disembark and ship merchandises in and out of the country. Officials from the Ministry of Finance said that they had to resort to this unusual step so that perishable merchandises destined for export were given priorities.

The Treasurer of the country continues to exhort workers to return to work as soon as possible, imploring them to have “a conscience.” Well, the Association of Haitian Customs reassures that emergency cells are established in the main customs offices and are responsible for the delivery of drugs, cadavers, human blood, antiretrovirals and oxygen aid cargoes. This, with a view to" a happy ending to this unfortunate situation."

Adding Monday loss of revenues to the last 6 days, will cost the treasury more than a billion gourdes, all these losses as the Haitian government has recently signed with the IMF a Staff Monitored Program, which requires Haiti to reduce  spending and increase revenues.

In : Economy