PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – The Government of Haiti and the unions representing transport workers signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday, barely a week after Prime Minister Ariel Henry ordered an increase in fuel prices.
Anderson Desroches, the union representative, said the main topics of the agreement were wages, regularizing motorcycle taxis, and issuing driving licenses and registration plates.
Also included in the agreement is the establishment of a regulatory body for the oil market, as well as a few subsidies for public transportation.
In addition, the Government plans to provide vehicles to those whose older vehicles are no longer suitable, according to reports.
The agreement was reached after protests over the 24% increase in gasoline prices and 100% for diesel and kerosene. The operators of the country’s transportation had threatened to shut down the service until a solution had been found.
After this week, Union leader Changé Mehu warned, “if the Government does not act on the subsidy issue, we will set the prices of trips in the ten departments of the country in line with the increases in petroleum products.”Changé Mehu
During this crisis, news from Cap-Haitien added to the nightmare of the Haitian people, as the death toll of a truck explosion had increased from 60 to 75.
According to local authorities, 56 people are still in critical condition. The majority of the new deaths were caused by severe burn victims hospitalized in hospitals.
Several hours after the accident, 15 people who suffered burns were evacuated to Port-au-Prince and Hinche to be treated in burn injury hospitals.
During the early morning hours of Tuesday, a tanker truck overturned around a curve in a central neighborhood of Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city. Several individuals hit the tank with hammers in their attempt to steal fuel from the truck.
The cause of the explosion remains unclear, which also affected about 20 homes on neighbouring streets.
As the two main medical centers in Cap-Haitien were already overrun with patients, the Haitian government said it was building two field hospitals to treat the wounded. PM Henry proclaimed three days of mourning across the country.