There has been a dramatic deterioration in the situation at the Codevi free trade zone in northeast Haiti. In early June the army of the neighbouring Dominican Republic was called in to expel workers from the zone. A full one-day strike took place on 7 June. Workers agreed to return to work the next day, despite the continuing presence of the Dominican army – and were locked out. On 9 June one large employer, Grupo M, announced that it was abandoning production at Codevi and began dismissing hundreds of workers – including the co-ordinator and secretary of the SOKOWA union – while recruiting for its plant in the Dominican Republic. By the end of June over 370 workers had been sacked. Grupo M is a supplier to the giant US clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss, based in San Francisco, which boasts a ‘progressive’ Code of Conduct on labour conditions.
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