Stand with Workers Sewing COVID19 Masks

Everything we consume is linked to a process of exploitation, including the masks we all wear now.

Please help us raise $3,000 by May 31st to support workers making masks and standing up against exploitation.

In Haiti, garment workers with the Batay Ouvriye (Workers Struggle) movement have been organizing themselves to resist this exploitation from factory owners, the government and multinational corporations.

Now, they face a new challenge presented by COVID19 - die from staying home with no way to eat and pay rent. Or, go to work to risk your life for exploitation wages, sewing masks for people to consume in other countries.

After declaring a state of emergency on March 19 which shut down industrial parks, the Haitian government alongside the Haitian Association of Industrialists (ADIH) announced in mid-April that factories would reopen  to produce cloth masks and medical garments.

- There is no real healthcare system or infrastructure  in Haiti. Hospitals barely exist.
- Social distancing is not possible when when transit consists of crowded tap-taps and motorcycle taxis.
- Wages are still not enough at around $5 USD per day.
- Harassment, union-busting, impossible quotas and illegal firings remain the norm.

While government officials and factory owners continue to stay home, workers are told it’s safe enough for them to get back to producing goods for export and consumption in countries like the US and Canada.

Workers around the world are being compelled to risk their lives to keep society fed and functioning. But this is always the case, whether there is a pandemic or not, as stated by Batay Ouvriye (Workers Struggle):

We must go on with our demands. We must go to work in an organized way. And, we must be ready to leave if the capitalists and the government put our lives beneath their will to accumulate profits… Whether going to work in optimal or in pandemic conditions, the continuation of society has become the international responsibility of our class of workers worldwide, as our labor aligns with the interests of humanity.

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

Thanks to the Hope and Help Acts , a majority of the goods produced (normally t-shirts & active wear) in Haiti are sold in the US and Canada. We will wear these masks, so let’s lend them our solidarity with a donation of support!

We are all facing unknowns and precarious situations, but many of us still retain a level of stability completely foreign to Haitian workers even in normal times.

Since April and before, many of the textile workers with Batay Ouvriye have been out of work due to both illegal firings and factory closures. They need financial support to keep the fight going and to survive.

Donations in every amount are important and are sent directly to Haiti to help cover costs like:

- Food
- Rent
- Costs of printing leaflets

We support Batay Ouvriye because they are independent and autonomous from political parties and  non-governmental organizations. They are building a genuine people’s movement where textile workers, poor peasants and neighborhood groups decide the path forward… something needed the world over.

Give what you can.

We also invite you to join us for an online screening of Batay La  - a short documentary about the Batay Ouvriye movement. We'll have a live update from Haiti followed by Q&A.

Thank you for your solidarity!

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All funds are wired directly to organizers in Haiti to use at their discretion to support the work of SOTA-BO, SOKOWA, SAKAD & SOVAGH textile unions.

To learn more, check out the Rapid Response Network .

The RRN is not a 501(c)3, so your donation is not tax deductible… but is a good exercise of your conscience.

Send us a message if you have any questions.

Donations ()

  • Seth Tatum 
    • $59 
    • 6 d
  • Imena Valdes 
    • $15 
    • 6 d
  • Alexis Sales 
    • $20 
    • 11 d
  • Eldan Goldenberg 
    • $50 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $51 (Offline)
    • 13 d
See all

Organizer

Rapid Response Network 
Organizer
Miami, FL
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