Haiti

Capital: Port-au-Prince
Population: 10.57m. (2014)

Haiti ratified ILO Convention No.98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, 1949) in 1957 and Convention No.87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, 1948) in 1979.

The only country in the world founded by slave revolt, and the first country in the world to outlaw slavery, Haiti has a formidible record of labour agitation. However, its long history of politiclal turmoil and repression, including long periods in which unions were effectively banned, has not aided the development of industrial relations. Collective bargaining coverage is minimal, and workers and trade union activists face serious intimidation and violence. There is no protection against ant-iunion discrimination, which occurs on a regular basis. Since the repression of the Duvalier years, the political violence of the 1990s, and the anti-union violence of the early 2000s, the situation for trade union rights has generally improved, in so far as politically violence against trade unionists is no longer regularly or commonly reported. However, the country is wracked by poverty and by economic instabilty, which remain major challenges to effective trade unio activity.

The trade union movement is complex, fragmented, and clear impartial information is difficult to obtain, while contradictory reports abound. Further complicating matters, several of the trade union centres affiliate organisations that are (or were) themselves organised as confederations. It is also notable that unions within the same confederation structures have sometimes demonstrated quite distinct political voices. However a very general summary can note that the Centrale Autonome des Travailleurs Haïtiens (CATH, English: Autonomous Centre of Haitian Workers) is the oldest existing union structure. CATH is now now part of the Coordination Syndicale Haïtienne (CSH, English: Haitian Trade Union Coordination). The Confédération des Travailleurs Haïtiens (CTH, English: Confederation of Haitian Workers), which mainly grew out of a CATH breakaway faction critical of CATH's relationship to the US, is currently the largest union centre in Haiti, with a reported 65,000 members. The Confédération des Travaillers des Secteurs Public & Privé (CTSP, English: Confederation of Workers in the Public and Private Sectors), with 10,000 members, was founded in 2008, and is affiliated to PSI. Among CTSP's affiliates is the UNNOH, affiliated to Education International.

Full details of the country's political history, the development of trade unionism, and contact and affiliation details for all national trade union centres can be found in ICTUR's in-depth global reference book: Trade Unions of the World.

Link to reportFull country profile: Haiti, from Trade Unions of the World (2016)

Link to letterIntervention letter: threat against trade union leader (2019)

 

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