Laval, February 26th, 2015 – In January 2015, a delegation comprised of representatives from Teamsters Canada, the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL) and the Canadian Labour Congress took part in a mission to Haiti. This mission was intended to help workers of the Brasserie Nationale d’Haïti, la BRANA (Heineken), consolidate their forces and demand better life and work conditions.
One of the mission goals was to improve the operational capacity of SYTBRANA, the Workers Union of BRAÑA (Heineken). In addition, with international solidarity, the delegation demonstrated actual support to workers.
The delegation facilitated training sessions and shared tools with SYTBRANA members during their visit to Haiti.
“When we help workers in other countries improve their conditions, we work to protect jobs in Canada”, explained Robert Bouvier, president of Teamsters Canada.
BRANA (Heineken) is the most important brewer in Haiti and a major economic player in the country. Despite the commercial success of the brewery, union activity is threatened, as well as job security due to outsourcing contracts.
In fact, the Confédération des Travailleurs et Travailleuses des Secteurs Public et Privé (CTSP), one of the most important trade unions in Haiti, called for international support in order to assist SYTBRANA in defeating those unacceptable management actions.
In response, Teamsters Canada brought together an expansive coalition, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the International Union of Food Workers’ Associations (IUFWA). These organizations represent all brewery unions in the world, including those from Heineken. They have decided to ban together to form a coalition in order to support unionization and comply with human rights in Haiti.
“We share common values and goals with Haitian workers”, noted the president of Teamsters Canada. “SYTBRANA faces the same challenges as Teamsters, despite the distance and different culture.”
In closing, note that almost one worker in five in the Canadian Brewing Industry is a member of the Teamsters Union. This is particularly the case of Molson and Labatt employees.
The Teamsters represents 115,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Nathalie Mayer, Communications Department
Telephone: 450 682-5521
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