Letter to Wyclef Jean about workers' rights and Mr Jaar

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Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Letter to Wyclef Jean about workers' rights and Mr Jaar

Post by Charles Arthur » Wed May 17, 2006 6:23 am

Dear Wyclef Jean,

First of all - on behalf of the British solidarity organisation, the Haiti Support Group - let me congratulate you on the excellent work that Yéle Haiti is carrying out in Haiti. We are particularly pleased that you are working with and supporting Athletique d'Haiti, which is a tremendous project. We were able to provide some very modest support to it some years ago, but we are delighted that now you have been able to mobilise much greater resources to boost the important work carried out by Bobby Duval and his colleagues.

We are pleased to read that Yéle Haiti appears to have succeeded in persuading some rich and successful members of Haiti's private sector to share some of their wealth with their less privileged country-folk. The massive disparity in wealth in Haiti is quite the ugliest scar, and it needs drastic action - your work with Yéle Haiti is an important step in the right direction.

On the issue of Yéle Haiti's partnerships with Haitian business leaders, there is something very important that we hope that you can help us with.

We note that Mr. Raymond Jaar is a member of the board of directors of Yéle Haiti, and that Brasserie de La Couronne S.A., for whom Mr Jaar is CEO, is one of your five funding partners. We want to bring to your attention some very disturbing news that we have received about the abuse of workers' rights at the Brasserie de La Couronne–Coca-Cola Haiti brewery in Cap-Haitien.

We are very concerned to hear that some workers there are paid an illegal 50 gourdes per day salary - you know of course that the legal minimum daily wage in Haiti is 70 gourdes. In addition, we understand that - again contrary to Haitian law - there are no holidays at Brasserie de La Couronne–Coca-Cola Haiti, that the provision for 15 days sickness leave is not respected, that overtime hours are not paid, and that workers are fired without valid reason.

We are therefore asking you to urgently to contact Mr Jaar and to ask him adopt the necessary measures to rectify the situation at the Brasserie de La Couronne–Coca-Cola Haiti brewery. The workers' base salary needs to be correctly adjusted. Mr Philomé Cémérant, a union leader sacked at the end of 2005 for no good reason, should be rehired without delay and with back-pay. A constructive dialogue betwen the company's management and the workers' union must be started immediately.

We are sure that you will agree that the reputation and integrity of Yéle Haiti will needlessly suffer if it is revealed that workers employed by Mr Jaar, one of Yéle Haiti's directors, and by Brasserie de La Couronne S.A., one of Yéle Haiti's funding partners, are being shamelessly denied their rights according to both Haitian and international law. We don't want this to happen, and we implore you to use your influence and line of communication with Mr Jaar to persuade him to take immediate action to rectify the unacceptable state of labour relations at the Brasserie de La Couronne–Coca-Cola Haiti brewery in Cap-Haitien.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Arthur
Director
Haiti Support Group
London
UK
www.haitisupport.gn.apc.org

Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Protest letter to Raymond Jaar

Post by Charles Arthur » Wed May 17, 2006 6:28 am

Mr. Raymond Jaar
CEO Brasserie de La Couronne S.A.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Haiti
P.O. Box 1477,
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

raymondjaar@bracour.com

Dear Mr. Jaar,

We have been informed of your company's serious abuses of workers' rights at the brewery in Cap-Haitien, and are particularly concerned to hear that you are paying some workers an illegal 50 gourdes per day salary. In addition, we understand that - contrary to Haitian law - there are no holidays at La Couronne Brewery–Coca-Cola Haiti, that the provision for 15 days sickness leave is not respected, that overtime hours are not paid, and that workers are fired without valid reason.

We are asking you to urgently adopt the necessary measures to rectify the situation at the La Couronne Brewery–Coca-Cola Haiti. The workers' base salary needs to be correctly adjusted. Mr Philomé Cémérant, a union leader sacked at the end of 2005 for no good reason, should be rehired without delay and with back-pay. A constructive dialogue betwen the company's management and the workers' union must be started immediately.

In the hope that you will adopt these measures in the spirit of social advancement in Haiti,

Yours sincerely,

Charles Arthur
Director
Haiti Support Group
10 Swingfield House
Templecombe Road
London E9 7LX
United Kingdom

Cc :
René Préval, Président de la Republique,
Joseph Lambert, Président de l'Assemblée Nationale,
Rénan Hédouville, Comité des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertés Individuelles,
Eliphète St-Pierre, Plate-Forme des Organisations Haitiennes des Droit Humaines,
Ricot Jean Pierre, Plateforme Haitienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif,
Intersyndicale Premier Mai – Batay Ouvriye,
Commission Episcopale Nationale Justice et Paix,
Kolektif Mobilizasyon Kont Lavichè,
Ron Oswald, general secretary of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF-UITA),
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec,
Lorraine Clewer, Worker Rights Consortium,
Robert Senser, Human Rights for Workers,
Ther Aung, International Labor Rights Fund,
International Centre for Trade Union Rights,
Campaign for Labor Rights,
Grassroots Haiti,
David Joyce, Irish TUC,
Aileen McErlean, Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions,
Christopher Avery, Business & Human Rights,
Amnesty International Business & Human Rights Programme.

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