PORT-AU-PRINCE — A group of unions that represent factory workers and security guards plan to hold a two-day protest on May 1, Agricultural and Labor Day in Haiti, and May 2, calling for an increase in the minimum wage.
Jean Wilgens Charles, head of Esklav Revolte or Rebelious Slave said, “May 1 in Haiti is not a commemoration for Labor Day, but of unemployment, we are therefore calling out on all citizens to protest against the high cost of living, hunger, misery,and insecurity.”
Organisers of the protest said at a press conference held at the offices of ESPM-BO worker’s rights group on April 21 that the protest will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the National Society of Industrial Park (SNOAPI), followed by a march along Airport Road to the National Old Age Insurance Office (ONA).
Additionally, demonstrators will descend on the Prime Minister via Delmas 48 to chide him for failing to provide workers with debit cards and social assistance.
Workers across the country went on strike in February to demand a minimum wage of 1,500 Gourdes, the equivalent of USD $13, a day. Their reasoning is that the increase is necessary to confront inflation and afford basic necessities that have become so expensive since fuel prices soared.
In Haiti, the government raised the minimum wage to 685 Gourdes, about $6, but the unions insist on a higher amount.