Since the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake in Port-au-Prince, the Solidarity Center has acted quickly to send needed supplies and support to its Haitian partners through a union-to-union effort that provides short-term emergency aid and builds toward long-term reconstruction and strengthening of Haiti’s labor movement.
||Dominican union truck drivers carry supplies to Haitian workers in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Cathy Feingold
Generous donations to the Solidarity Center’s Earthquake Relief for Haitian Workers Fund have enabled us to provide:
- Regular truckloads of canned foods, water, re-hydration liquids, plastic tarps, diapers, blankets, first aid supplies, medicine, and other critical items.
- Direct funds to Haitian trade unions and labor support organizations for purchasing additional supplies, improving communication systems and outreach to workers, and restoring union offices for use as shelters and food distribution centers.
- Assistance in developing a Haitian inter-union commission aimed at ensuring equitable and efficient distribution of aid as well as crafting a joint approach to long-term reconstruction efforts.
- Support to union partners for developing a gender-based response to relief and reconstruction through the creation of a joint women’s union commission to address the specific needs of women workers.
All of the Solidarity Center’s relief efforts are premised on linking directly to Haitian workers through their unions and labor support organizations. From the very first days following the earthquake the Solidarity Center has supported Dominican union leaders who have been working side by side with their Haitian counterparts to assess needs, survey damages, and help open any union halls still standing as clinics, distribution centers, and shelters. In the Dominican Republic, a coalition of unions, health organizations, and human and migrant rights groups quickly arranged for weekly overland transport of water, food, first aid supplies, re-hydration liquids, plastic tarps, diapers, blankets, and other basic necessities. These shipments began on January 13 and are ongoing. The Solidarity Center also is responding to more specific requests of Haitian unions as they make progress in relocating members and better assessing needs.
Joining with unions in the Dominican Republic that have Haitian members has enabled us not only to better coordinate disaster responses, but also to enhance union-to-union cooperation between Dominican unions and their Haitian counterparts. These Dominican unions have an ongoing commitment to Haitian workers’ struggle to improve their working and living conditions.
In spite of unions’ demonstrated capacity to reach out to their members and deliver aid in a coordinated and orderly manner, labor organizations have not been included in the massive aid distribution efforts by governments and large international aid organizations. Instead the union-led effort has depended on contributions from the global labor movement, through the International Trade Union Confederation, the Global Union Federations, and the Solidarity Center.
As Haiti moves toward reconstruction, the needs of Haitian workers and their families will continue to be great. We thank those who have contributed and urge those who have not to please consider making a donation to the Earthquake Relief for Haitian Workers Fund. Your contribution will help Haitian workers rebuild their homes, their lives, and their unions.
Unions Demand Decent Work in Haiti Recovery Process.
More than 120 trade unionists from all over the world, including many leaders representing the Haitian labor movement, attended an April 8-10 summit in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to explore the role of trade unions in the reconstruction of Haiti. “Decent work must be at the heart of any rebuilding effort in Haiti,” said the Solidarity Center’s Cathy Feingold, who attended the summit as country program director for Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Union Plus Commits to Haiti Relief with Dollar-for-Dollar Match.
The AFL-CIO’s Union Plus program has committed to donate $100,000 to the Solidarity Center’s Earthquake Relief for Haitian Workers Fund through a dollar-for-dollar match.
AFSCME Pledges $25,000 to Solidarity Center Earthquake Relief Fund. AFSCME President Gerald McEntee announced on Friday that his 1.6 million member union would donate $25,000 to the Solidarity Center’s Earthquake Relief for Haitian Workers Fund and has instructed all AFSCME locals to ask members to contribute as well.
If you prefer, you may donate by check. Please make your check payable to:
Solidarity Center Education Fund
Solidarity Center Education Fund
888 16th Street, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Please designate "Earthquake Relief for Haitian Workers" in the memo line of the check.
The Solidarity Center Education Fund is a tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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