Haiti - FLASH : The MCI strike and the closure of Port Lafiteau seriously threaten the textile industry
Recall that since the beginning of the week, employees of the Ministry of Commerce observe a work stoppage requiring better working conditions and the end of favoritism within the institution.
According to Georges Sassine, this strike prevents the issuance of export visas and business executives from the outsourcing sector complain, because they can not import the raw material needed to manufacture 130,000 dozen t-shirts, stressing that "even if these companies work they can not export..."
Faced with this situation the ADIH sent a correspondence to Ronell Gilles, the Minister of Trade and Industry to find an emergency solution :
Letter from ADIH :
"Pétion-ville, April 24, 2019
Subject : MCI work stoppage
The Haitian Industry Association has learned with horror that an employee strike is taking place in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This situation puts at risk nearly 60,000 jobs in the export sector because it is impossible to obtain the visa allowing the shipment of goods to the United States of America.
ADIH implores your ministry to set up an emergency service to issue export visas.
Hoping that the necessary will be done as soon as possible [...]"
Moreover, Sassine deplores that for 3 days, it is no longer possible to export blocked containers to Port Lafiteau temporarily closed by a conservatory decision of the court https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-27551-haiti-justice-16-containers-missing-justice-temporarily-closes-port-lafiteau.html , underlining that before the economic consequences of this decision the investors lose more and more confidence, which risk of lead to lower production orders at factories in Haiti."
He recalls that this is in addition to the crisis caused by the unanimous vote of the deputies (without consultation with the actors concerned) on March 26, 2019, of a bill revising upward (nearly 80%) the minimum wage of wages of subcontracting https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-27295-haiti-politic-revised-minimum-wages-according-to-the-bill-voted-by-the-deputies.html which has caused serious concern and reaction among industry officials who have threatened to lay off workers and transfer some factories to more competitive countries like the Dominican Republic https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-27375-haiti-flash-minimum-wage-8-korean-companies-in-haiti-warn.html https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-27347-haiti-flash-koreans-in-caracol-transfer-their-extension-projects-in-dr.html
LAST MINUTE : On Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Port-au-Prince, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Haitian State represented by Romel Bell, the Director General of the General Administration of Customs (AGD) and Port Lafiteau, represented by and Yves Marie Carlyle Charles for the the Board of Directors of the Port, authorizing the provisional reopening of the Port Lafiteau commercial activities, from Friday, April 26, 2019 following pressure from many customers whose goods are blocked (perishable, drugs, oxygen for hospitals etc ...) and some of whom have contracted bank loans are in difficulties because of this temporary closure...
Romel Bell says, that despite the reopening of the port, the investigation will continue on the disappearance of the 16 containers and the people involved.
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