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BLS Report No. 244
:.:::::::::::::::.:::::::::. :: :::::::::::::::
. O XXiiiiiii ~iiiiiiiiiii!iii~ii i~l!ii~i
AND PRACTICE IN
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary
f,, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS Ewan Clague, Commissioner
OF FOREIGN AND COMPARATIVE LAW
NE.' YQR~l 27a, I, Y;
This report is one of a series being prepared in the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The series is intended primarily to provide information on labor in foreign countries for Government officials, and for U.S. businessmen, students, and other members of the public.
Source material used in preparing this study included Foreign Service despatches, official publications of the Government of Haiti, books, and periodicals. Most of the research was completed before April 1963.
The report was drafted by Mary Pinkard and revised by Robert C. Hayes under the supervision of Juliet F. Kidney, in the Bureau's Division of Foreign Labor Conditions, William C. Shelton, Chief.
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 20402.-Price 40 cents.
Part I. The country and its workers ------------------------- ---------- 1
Chapter I. Geographic setting ------------------------------------- 1
Location and area --------------------------------------- 1
Geographic, climatic, and economic factors ------------------- 1
Chapter II. Manpower resources ---------------------------- 5
Population and labor supply ------------------------------------ 5
National service system ---------------------------------------- 10
Special characteristics of the labor force ------------------- 10
Chapter III. Culture and customs ----------------------------------- 12
Ethnic groups ------------------------------------------ 12
Language -------------------------------------------------- 12
Religious groups -- ------------------------------------ 13
Minority problems---------------------------- 13
Social structure ---------------------------------------------- 14
Chapter IV. Education and health --------------------------------- 16
Education --------------------------------------------------- 16
Health and sanitation ------------------------------------ 22
Part II. Government and labor relations -------------------------------- 26
Chapter V. Government ----------------------------------------- 26
Constitutional summary ----------------------------- 26
Labor legislation ------------------------------------------- 28
Agencies and tribunals concerned with labor ------------------ 29
Public administration -------- --------- ---------------- 32
Chapter VI. Labor-management relations ----------------------- 34
Labor unions ------------------------------------ -------- 34
Management ------------------------------------------------- 36
Industrial relations ----- ---------------------------- --- 36
Part III. Conditions of employment ------------------------------- 39
Chapter VII. Pay and allowances ---------------------------- 39
Categories of employment -------------------------------- 39
Base pay ------------------------------------------------- 39
Supplemental payments ---------------------------------- 40
Travel expenses ---------------------------------------------- 41
Pay increases, promotions, and demotions ------------------------ 41
Pay period frequency ------------------------------------------ 41
Withholdings and deductions ------------------------------- 41
Chapter VIII. Hours of work and premiums --- ----------------- 43
Hours of work ----------------------------------------------- 43
Nightwork--------------------------------- ----- 43
Periodic rest days-------------------------------------- 44
National and religious holidays ---------------------- ------ 44
Overtime ----------- -----------------------.------------. 45
Paid leave --------------------------- ----------------- 45
Chapter IX. Safety, insurance, and facilities -------------------------- 47
Health and safety -------------------------------------------- 47
Accident compensation .------------------------------------ 48
Social insurance --------------------------- -------------- 49
Staff retirement systems --------------------- -------------- 50
Employee services ------------------------------------- -- 50
Part III. Conditions of employment-Continue(
Chapter X-Employment practices -___.
Preemployment inquiries ------Hiring -----------------Disciplinary actions -----------------Notice periods and separations
Grievances and complaints ----------Records and reports --------------Selected bibliography -------------------------
._ _. _ ._ ._ ._ ._ ._5 1
---------- ---------- --- 51
-- -- ------- 51
-------- -----.----------- 52
- - - --.- 5 2
-. ---- ---- 54
1. Population, by department, 1950 ------------------------ --2. Population of principal urban centers, 1950 -------------------3. Population by age group and sex, 1950 --------------------------4. Employed persons (age 14 and over), by industry and class of workers,
5. Occupation of wage and salary earners in selected industries in Port-auPrince and six neighboring towns, June-October 1959
6. Percent of population which is illiterate, by age and sex, 1950 ---7. Estimated school enrollment of children, 5-14 years, 1954-55 -----8. Types of schools and size of teaching staffs, 1957-58 ------------9. Number of vocational school graduates, 1955-56 ---------------10. Types of grievances reported in 11 cities, 1958-60 ---------------11. Work conflicts in 11 cities, by type of enterprise, 1958-60 --------12. Special minimum wages established by the higher wage board,
1951-52 ----- --- ----------------------------13. Monthly wage or salary by economic sector (excluding agriculture) in
Port-au-Prince and six neighboring towns, June-October 1959 ---Charts:
1. Distribution, by grade, of rural children attending school, 1961 -2. Administrative organization of the Department of Labor and Social
Welfare _-------- - ---- --- ---- ----
,. International boundary
-- Department boundary
a Department capital
- Major all-weather roads
----- Major fair-weather roads
ILE DE LA TORTURE PORT-OE- PAIX
MOLE ST. NICOLAS
GOLFE DE LA GONAVE
Labor Law and Practice in Haiti
PART I. THE COUNTRY AND ITS WORKERS Chapter I. Geographic Setting
Location and Area
About 700 miles southeast of Florida, in that part of the chain of islands dividing the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea, which is known as the Greater Antilles, lies Hispaniola, discovered by Columbus in 1492. Haiti, a little larger than the State of Maryland, but which surpasses in size only El Salvador of the Latin American republics, occupies approximately 10,700 square miles in the western third of the island. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola. Haiti's part of the island is shaped like a horseshoe, with two westward jutting peninsulas half encircling the Golfe de la Gondve. The deep indentation of this gulf contributes largely to the 1,100-mile shoreline.
The southernmost of the long chain of the Bahamas lies 75 miles to the north in the Atlantic Ocean. Fifty-five miles northwest, across the Windward Passage, lies Cuba. Jamaica is 120 miles to the west. On the east, Haiti shares a 170-mile border with the Dominican Republic.
Few people from these neighboring countries come to live and work in Haiti. Migration occurs the other way, with Haitians seeking work in the agricultural activities of neighboring states. Part of this migration is to the Bahamas; some Haitians venture in small boats 500 miles south across the Caribbean to the island of Curacao. During the 1920's and 1930's, many Haitians migrated to Cuba. This movement has now apparently ceased and no migration to Cuba has been reported in recent years. Jamaica provides no work for Haitian people on a seasonal basis, but the commercial education offered there has attracted Haitian secretaries who desire English-speaking training and ex-
perience and who cannot afford to travel to the United States.
For many years Haitian laborers crossed the border to work in the cane fields of the Dominican Republic, without incident, until 1937. In that year, as a result of armed conflict precipitated by this movement, several thousand Haitian laborers were killed in the Dominican Republic, and the movement between the two countries ceased. Border incidents continued, however, and in 1949 and 1950, both sides complained to the Organization of American States (OAS), Haiti charging aggression and the Dominican Republic charging conspiracy. In 1952, the two Governments arrived at agreements regulating employment and living conditions of Haitian migrant workers in the Dominican Republic, and subsequently about 15,000 Haitians migrated annually to cut cane. Before the end of 1961, this officially accepted migration had ceased.
Geographic, Climatic, and Economic Factors
About 80 percent of the country is mountainous. The story is told that an Englishman, asked to describe Haiti as he first saw it, crumpled a sheet of paper and tossed it down on a table. Four principal mountain ranges and innumerable smaller chains rise from the maritime plains to form a backdrop for every port city. In the north, near the Atlantic coast, the Massif du Nord rises behind the city of Cap Haitien. Swinging southeastward from the upper peninsula, across the central section of the country, are the Montagnes Noires. Roughly parallel, to the South of the Artibonite River, the Chaine de Matheux runs southeastward from the region behind the port of Saint Marc toward the Dominican Republic. The highland
GOLF DE LA GONnVE
in the southern peninsula formed by the Massif de la Hotte is continued eastward into the Dominican Republic by the Massif de la Selle. None of these mountains is very high: the tallest mountain, in the Massif de la Selle, is less than 9,000 feet. Only a quarter of the mountain area lies above 3,000 feet. There is no frostline.
There are four major plains and plateaus. The Plaine du Nord on the Atlantic coast is the site of large sisal plantations. The Plateau Central is an interior flatland extending to the Dominican border between Massif du Nord and the Montagnes Noires. Farther to the west, between the Montagnes Noires and the Golfe de la Gonfve, is the Plaine de l'Artibonite, a large, arid area. The Plaine du Cul-de-Sac crosses the south central part of the country behind Portau-Prince. It is the most fertile, well-drained soil in Haiti and part of the capital city's importance in the economy is due to its location on this plain.
Haiti has numerous small rivers, mostly rapid streams coursing down the mountain slopes into the sea. The most important river is the 147mile Artibonite River, which rises in the Dominican Republic and crosses Haiti to empty into the Golfe de la Gonfve, 50 miles north of Port-au-Prince. It is navigable by raft and canoe for about 100 miles from the seacoast. The valley of the river, lying between mountain ranges, was subject alternately to floods and droughts until the completion of a dam in 1956. This dam was planned to provide irrigation for approximately 70,000 acres of agricultural land and, after the necessary installations, additional hydroelectric power; but work on the project was halted in 1960. The largest lake is Etang Saumitre, a brackish, landlocked body of water, about 100 square miles in area, in the southeast.
Since Haiti's economy is agricultural, climatic conditions are of prime importance. The mountainous topography helps to create wide variations unusual in so small a country. There is practically no rainfall on the lee slopes and adjacent plains in the northwest peninsula, but in some of the central valleys there is as much as 90 inches annually. Generally, there are two rainy seasons and two dry seasons. Rains occur in the spring from April to June, and in the fall during October and November. In the north, along the Atlantic Coast, winter is humid. In
the central part of the country the winter months are much drier than elsewhere. In the lower peninsula the fall rains are heavier than the spring rains; this part of the country lies in the path of hurricanes and suffers periodic devastation.
Temperatures vary with altitudes, but on even the higher mountains temperatures register no lower than 60 degrees. In summer, temperatures range from 850 to 950 F.; winter averages about 10 degrees cooler. The northeast tradewinds bring sea breezes in summer, but the areas in the lee of the mountains experience the humid heat associated with tropical climates.
Because of climatic variations, agriculture has developed differently in different areas. Coffee, which constitutes 60 percent of all exports, is grown throughout the country under various weather conditions and farming techniques. The result is an uncertain yield, so uneven in quality as to handicap its competition greatly in the world market. Sugar is grown chiefly-perhaps 85 percent of the crop-in the area within 15 miles of Port-au-Prince; about 10 percent of the crop is grown in the southern peninsula near the port of Les Cayes; and the rest is produced in the north, near Cap Haitien. Sisal is grown chiefly in the northern area near Cap Haitien, and in lesser quantities along the coast north of Port-au-Prince. The commercial production of bananas is in the'north, but banana trees are cultivated sporadically in fertile areas throughout the country. Cocoa, like coffee, can be grown in most highland areas. Cotton, which is grown in small quantities in scattered areas, was once the major export, but its production has declined for decades, and is now of little commercial importance.
With the exception of the more inaccessible mountain areas, most of the slopes and plains are now bare and eroded through deforestation, and the country's once valuable stands of mahogany have almost disappeared. Pine timber, however, still exists in large stands.
The only economically important mineral resources are bauxite and copper, which are mined by foreign firms from land leased from the Government. Lignite deposits are reported to be substantial in the Maissade area, but these have not yet been fully explored.
Haiti suffers from a critical shortage of adequate highways and roads, particularly in the southern peninsula. The only all-weather roads are those which link the port cities, and even these are poorly maintained. The interior is crossed by trails and dirt roads over which the people carry their produce to market, on their heads or by muleback. Several shipping and air lines serve the country; the one international airport is at Port-au-Prince. Between the port cities, passenger and mail service is maintained by the Haitian Air Force and by irregular private bus and truck lines. Radio communication is available in major cities and sporadically elsewhere. Haiti had one of the first dial telephone systems in the Western Hemisphere, but its lines are overloaded and service is often poor. In rural areas, loudspeaker trucks and runners are used for communication.
In 1961, Haiti's gross national product amounted to approximately 1,400 million gourdes (US$280 million); the per capita annual income of 330 gourdes (US$66) was one of the lowest in the American Republics.' Con1 The national monetary unit, the gourde, is pegged at the exchange rate of 5 gourdes=US$1. Printed on the paper money representing gourdes is the statement that gourdes are convertible to dollars at this established rate. There is, therefore, no market rate of exchange differing from the official rate. There is in Haiti a general misconception that this rate is guaranteed by the First National City Bank of New York under a convention between Haiti and the United States, dated April 12, 1919, but this convention is no longer in effect.
trary to the trend toward rising income in the region as a whole, Haiti's per capita income has been stationary or declining during most of the years since World War II.
Haitian agricultural exports in Haitian fiscal year 19602 were: coffee, valued in total at 60.5 million gourdes (US$12.1 million) ; sugar, 22.5 million gourdes (US$4.5 million) ; and sisal, 17 million gourdes (US$3.4 million). The principal nonagricultural export is bauxite, valued at approximately 14.5 million gourdes (US$2.9 million) in the same year. Handcrafted or manufactured items amounted to only about 2.5 percent of exports; essential oils, copper concentrates, castor beans, wheat flour, goatskins, honey, and beeswax accounted for less than 2 percent of the exports.
The tourist trade has received much attention from recent Haitian Governments, and a cabinet post has been created to handle tourism as an industry. Haiti's climate is ideal for winter travelers; the island is on the trade routes to South America; it offers magnificent scenery and picturesque folkways. The immediate future of tourism as an industry is uncertain, however, because of political and social unrest.
2 The Haitian fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30.
Chapter II. Manpower Resources
Population and Labor Supply
Haiti is the most densely populated of the American Republics, although some of the other Caribbean islands are more densely populated. In 1962, there were estimated to be approximately 406 inhabitants per square mile (157 per square kilometer). The concentration of Haiti's rural population in proportion to its cultivated land and pasture land was estimated in 1960 to be 923 inhabitants per square mile (356.4 per square kilometer).3
The only general census, taken in 1950, placed the population at nearly 3.1 million people. By 1962, the population was estimated to have increased to more than 4.3 million. The rate of growth, during 1953-62 (years for which revised estimates are available), was 2.2 percent per year. This was somewhat below the median rate of population increase for Latin America countries but about at the median for the Caribbean islands.4 The growth of the Haitian population was due entirely to natural increase, since there is virtually no immigration into Haiti. The birth rate, by all available indications (vital statistics for Haiti are meager, incomplete, and contradictory), is possibly the highest in the Americas (estimated in 1950 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America to be from 45 to 55 per thousand inhabitants), but the death rate (over 30 per thousand inhabitants) is such that the rate of population growth is not correspondingly high. In 1950,
3 Social Progress Trust Fund, First Annual Report, Washington, Inter-American Development Bank, 1961, p. 131.
4 Derived from data in United Nations. Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, March 1963, pp. 1-4.
the most populous of the five Dipartements into which Haiti was divided was the Ddpartement de l'Ouest, where the capital city of Port-auPrince is located. The least populous was the Department du Nord Ouest, at the extremity of the northern peninsula (table 1).
The population of Haiti is overwhelmingly rural. According to the 1950 census, 12.6 percent of the population was urban; but since the census takers used an administrative criterion (see table 1, footnote 2) to define "urban," 13 hamlets with fewer than 500 inhabitants and 21 other villages with fewer than 750 inhabitants were included. Moreover, according to one of the most careful students of Haiti (Paul Moral in L'Economie Haitienne), the villages in the interior are more rural than urban. According to Moral, only 11 cities (all on the coast except Pdtionville, the residential city adjacent to the capital) should be considered urban. This reckoning would reduce the urban population to about 240,000, or 7.7 percent of the total 1950 population.
At the time of the census, there were only five towns or cities with over 10,000 inhabitants (table 2). Port-au-Prince was in a class by itself with an urban population of 134,117 (37 percent) of the country's entire urban population. The other four were: Cap Haitien (24,423); Gonaives (13,634); Les Cayes (11,608); and J~r6mie (11,048).
Port-au-Prince, the major shipping and receiving point, handles 60 percent of the country's trading activities. All major transportation facilities are directed toward serving this
TABLE 1. POPULATION, BY DEPARTMENT, 1950
Percent I per square
Departments 1 Total Urban 2 Rural urban 2 kilometer
All departments ----,------ -- 3.097,220 i 391,553 2,705,667 12.6 111.7
Le Nord Ouest-------------------------------- 168,279 13.564 154,715 8.0 61
Le Nord ---------------------------------------- 539,049 74.096 464,953 13.8 131.5
L'Artibonite ---------------------------------- 567,221 48,898 518,323 8.6 83
L'Ouest --------------------------------------- 1,083.069 185,149 897.920 16.9 137
Le Sud ---------------------------------------- 739,602 69,846 669,756 9.4 103
I Departments existing in 1950, and still functional. A provision of the 1957 Constitution, not yet implemented, would add the D&partements du Nord Est, de Centre, du la Grande Anse, and du Sud Ouest.
2 The criterion of the 1950 census for determining urban population was partly administrative, i.e., the population of the centers of local government, regardless of their size, were considered to be urban.
3 One square mile equals approximately 2.59 square kilometers. Hence the average national density of population in 1950 was approximately 289.3 inhabitants per square mile. Source: Rdcensement Gindral de la Republique de Haiti, Aoit 1950, Ddmographie, Economic, Famille et Habitation, Agriculture et Eldvage (Port-au-Prince, Institut Hattien de Statisque), (19551959). Vol. I. pp. 7 and 43; Vol. II. Tome 1, pp. 9 and 25: Vol. III, pp. 10 and 26; Vol. IV, Tome 1, pp. 10 and 26; Vol. V, Tome 1, pp. 10 and 26.
TLE DE LA TORTUE PORT-D E-PA
Inhabitants per sq. km.
Under 25 25 to 100 100 to 300 Over 300
SOURCE: PAUL MORAL, L'ECONOMIE HAITIENNE (PORT-AU-PRINCE, 1959), FACING P. 32
TABLE 2. POPULATION OF PRINCIPAL URBAN CENTERS, 1950 1
Port-au-Prince -. Cap-Haitien -Gonaives
Pitionville --- ------- --
Saint-Marc ------- -Jaemel
Terrier Rouge Fort-Liberti
Port-de-Paix - - - - -
Petit Gove -Hinche ----.-.-----.
Petit Riviere de L'Artibonite Dessalines -Limn b S-- - - - --- - -
St. Louis-du-Nord .--- --- .
Coteaux -- -Trou du Nord --
Grande Rivi&re-du-Nord Ouanaminthe-----.
Aquin --- .-Miragoane - -- --- -- - -Port-a-Piment Gros-Morne. St. Michel de L'Attalaye- ---. Anse d'Hainault Lascahhobas - ----
24,423 13,634 11.608 11,048 9,477 9,401 8,643 7,598 6,604 6.405 5,378 5,234 4.383 3,746 3,744 3,607 3,068 2,893 2,879 2.696 2.650 2.649 2,493 2,322 2,254 2.236 2,270 2.167
I Includes all urban centers of over 2,000 population listed in the 1950 census. Seasonal migration of workers results in a temporary population of over 2,000 in certain centers near sugar or sisal production, whose permanent urban population is less than 2,000 (e.g. Phaeton and Paulette, near Fort Libert6). SOURCE: Compiled from Rdcensement Gdngral de la Rdpublique de Haiti, Aoft 1950, (Port-au-Prince, Institut Hitien de Statistique), (1955-1959), Vol. I, p. 43, Vol. II, Tome 1, p. 25; Vol. III, p. 26; Vol. IV, Tome 1, p. 26; Vol. V, Tome 1, p. 26.
city. It is the center of the country's financial, commercial, and industrial activities as well as the home of the university and the national library.
The next largest port is Cap Haitien, the seat of the country's first government, now the capital of the D6partement du Nord. It handles about 15 percent of Haiti's exports. East of Cap HaYtien in the Dipartement du Nord are two small ports, Fort Libert6 and Caracol, from which sisal is exported.
Port-de-Paix, a town of over 6,000 inhabitants, is the only port in the D~partement du Nord-Ouest. Many of the migrant workers who leave Haiti bound for seasonal work in the Bahamas depart from this port.
Gonaives, the capital of the Dipartement de L'Artibonite, and the port of St. Marc are outlets for the products of the Artibonite Plain. Together they handle about 10 percent of the country's total export trade.
Les Cayes and Jdrdmie are the two major ports in the Ddpartement du Sud. In both towns, industries are almost negligible except for several small rum distilleries. Sugar, coffee, and logwood (a dye element) are the principal
exports. From Miragofne, another port in the D6partement du Sud, a town of about 2,500
people, processed bauxite is exported.
In the interior, a number of towns serve as trading points, receiving produce from surrounding areas, and are centers of operation for distributors and agents from the ports.
In 1950, more than one-third of the population of Haiti was 14 years of age and under (table 3). The child population includes 14year-olds, although some of these (64,425) appeared in the 1950 statistics as part of the employed adult population, since they held work permits and were considered a regular part of the labor force. Nearly 58 percent of the population was in the age group 15 to 64.
Females were a majority in all age groups except the 10 to 19 and the 40 to 54 year groups. Women outnumbered men, especially in the
adult urban population, of which they constituted approximately 60 percent. Women were slightly more mobile than men, in part because it is the Haitian women who carry produce to market and bargain for goods. Their contacts are therefore broader than those of the men and they migrate to urban areas in larger numbers as a result of their observation of urban living. In the city, women find work a little more easily than men, because of greater possibilities for them in domestic service, and
TABLE 3. POPULATION BY AGE GROUP AND SEX, 1950 Population
ge group TotalI Percent Male Female
All age groups -. 3,097, 220 100.0 1,504,736 1,592, 484 14 and under.--.--------. 1,173,098 37.9 588.453 584.645
Less than one year. 73,597 2.4 30,345 37,252
1 to 4 years. --------301,275 9.7 149,551 151,724 5 to 9 years.-----. 400,518 12.9 199,274 201,244 10 to 14 years 397,708 12.9 203,283 194,425 15 to 24 years.----. 575,427 18.6 275,629 299,798
15 to 19 years. 308.026 10.0 154,287 153,739 20 to 24 years 267,401 8.6 121,342 146,059 25 to 49 years.----------. 987,113 31.8 467,079 520,034
25 to 29 years .-. 277,177 8.9 125,172 152,005 30 to 34 years .- 189, 144 6.1 85,278 103,866 35 to 39 years .- 229,644 7.4 107, 718 121,926 40 to 44 years 157,697 5.1 80,622 77,075
45 to 49 years .-. 133,451 4.3 68,289 65,162
50 to 64 years. --------- 227, 171 7.3 112,961 114,210
50 to 54 years. 99,389 3.2 50,937 48,452
55 to 59 years. 56,828 1.8 27,804 29,024
60 to 64 years 70,954 2.3 34,220 36, 734
65 and over. 123, 230 4.0 54,691 68, 539
Age not declared 11,181 .4 5,923 5,258
SOURCE: Compiled from America en Cifras, 1960, Part 1, Estadisticas Demograficas, Washington, D.C., Inter-American Statistical Institute (1961), table 11-30, p. 6.
probably also because women's wages are than those paid to men.
In 1950, the economically active popu was reported as 1,747,187. This figure inc the unemployed who were registered wit Government placement service (nearly 2.1 cent of the "economically active" populatic well as the 14-year-olds who had work pei Nearly 88 percent of all adults (defined as 15 years of age and over, plus the 14-ye group with work permits) were econom active. Of the 11.5 percent of the adult pc tion that was economically inactive, ovei (56 percent) were housewives and stui The employment status of the adult popu. in 1950 was as follows:
Economic status (thousands)
Total adult population -- 1 1,989
More than 83 percent of the economically active population were agricultural workers in the census year 1950. No other economic sector engaged more than 5 percent of the economically active population, as is shown by the following tabulation:
1.a". Agriculture (includes forestry,
)pula- hunting, and fishing)
dents. Services ---------------------Com m erce --------------------lation Construction >.
Transportation and communication
Electricity, gas, and water ----Percent Mining -100.0 Not indicated -----------------
85,361 80,368 61,608 10,265
505 1 47,689
Economically active -- --
Employed --Unemployed ----.--.--Economically inactive
Housewives-------------Students-------------Other 2--------------___ _Status not reported --------------
1 1,747 1 1,705
1 Includes 64,425 children 14 years old who were employed.
2 Includes disabled, retired, and those of independent means. NOTE: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.
SOURCE: Compiled from Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique, Nos. 11-15, 1953-1954.
1 The difference between this figure and the figure for "not indicated" in table 4 is apparently due to inclusion of the unemployed segment of the economically active population. NOTE: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.
SOURCE: ILO Yearbook of Labor Statistics, 1961, table 4, p. 27.
More than 8 out of 10 employed persons were either self-employed or upaid family workers; only about one in every nine persons was a nongovernment wage or salary earner. The proportions of employers and of government workers were very small (table 4).
TABLE 4. EMPLOYED PERSONS (AGE 14 AND OVER), BY INDUSTRY AND CLASS OF WORKERS, 1950
Wage and salary workers
Total Heads of Self- Unpaid family Not
enterprises' employed workers Private specified
Industry enterprise GovernmentJ
Per- Per- Per- Per- Per- Per- PerNumber cent Number cent Number cent Number cent Number cent Number cent Number cent
All industries. 1,705, 139 100.0 26, 771 1.6 741,667 43. 1 716,893 42.0 198,795 11.7 16,408 1.0 4,605 0.3
Agriculture------------------. 1,453,891 100.0 20,022 1.4 641,222 44.1 703,963 48.4 85,802 5.9 931 0.1 1,951 0.1
Manufacturing. -------------- 85,361 100.0 3,612 4.2 40, 743 47.7 7, 034 8.2 33,142 38.8 414 .5 416 .5
Services .-------------------- 80,368 100.0 406 .6 8, 167 10.2 566 .7 58,799 73.2 12,359 15.4 71 I1
Commerce.-------------------. 61,608 100.0 1,733 2.8 47,621 77.3 4,350 7.1 7,440 12.1 183 .3 281 .5
Construction--------------- 10,265 100.0 505 4.9 2,117 20.6 161 1.6 6,341 61.8 1,071 10.4 70 .7
Transportation and communication .---------------------- 6,459 100.0 391 6.1 1,169 88.1 72 1.1 4,332 67.1 461 7.1 34 .5
Electricity, gas, and water. 1,(141 100.0 4 .4 26 2.5 3 .3 282 27.1 724 69.6 2 .2
Mining ---------------- 50 100.0 66 13.1 123 24.4 38 7.5 249 49.3 27 5.4 2 .4
Not indicated----------------. 5,641! 100.0. 32 .6 479 8.5 706 12. 5 2,4081 42.7 238 4.2 1, 778 31.5
1 The source apparently counts employers as employed persons, NOTE: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not
since it entitles this class "Heads of enterprises with paid em- equal totals.
Iployees"; the total may include some others beside salaried and SOURCE: Bulletin Trimestrie de Statistique (Port-au-Prince
supervisory personnel. SOURCE: Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique, (Port-au-Prince,
Institute HaTtien de Statistique), No. 11, Dec. 1953, p. 132; No. 12, 2 Government workers are categorized by the source as a class of March 1954, p. 180; No. 13, June 1954, p. 144; No. 14, Sept. 1954,
workers (source de remuneration) rather than as an industry p. 166; No. 17, June 1955, p. 174.
83.2 4.9 4.6 3.5 .6
.06 .03 2.7
In 1950, nearly 93 percent of the nation's approximately 1.5 million agricultural workers were self-employed or unpaid family workers. Only 85,802, or 6 percent of the agricultural workers, were wage or salary earners; these were employed mainly by sugar and sisal producers. Almost 50 percent of the agricultural workers were female, the great majority of them working as unpaid family workers. In manufacturing, the self-employed constituted the largest category, 48 percent of all the workers; wage or salary earners constituted about 39 percent and unpaid family workers constituted little more than 8 percent. Manufacturing in Haiti includes the family type workshop which produces handcrafted items; almost 75 percent of the women engaged in manufacturing were unpaid family workers. In the service industries, where nearly 75 percent of the workers were wage and salary earners, women outnumbered men about 5 to 4.
In commmerce, wage-earning workersthose employed by banks, export and import firms, department stores and large grocery shops-were a minority; the self-employed constituted 77 percent of those engaged in this sector of the economy. There were many small shops which employed fewer than five persons. Women outnumbered men 7 to 1 in commerce, and the great majority of them are self-employed or unpaid family workers. Much that is defined in official statistics as commerce is itinerant trading,pursued by "Madame Sarahs"
-women who travel the countryside buying and selling in minute quantities, often transporting their wares on the backs of donkeys. Paul Moral gives an example of this kind of trading:
A woman of the marketplace in Jacmel came to the store in Marbial to buy some pears, hens, pork, other meat, and syrup. She sold these products in Jacmel and hastened to buy oranges, rice, corn, and peas, which she then took to Port-au-Prince and sold. There she procured some denim, pants, blouses, robes, hardware, and notions that she took into the mountains to start the cycle of buying and selling all over again.5
Personal or family income levels are difficult to determine. The income of the preponderant category of self-employed agricultural workers fluctuates with weather and market conditions; and local variations in the prices of agricultural
5 Paul Moral. L'Economie Haitienne. p. 71.
products cause corresponding variations in the income of those who produce and sell such products. Agricultural prices in the small ports of J6rimie, Jacmel, and St. Marc are generally less than in the larger ports of Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien. In July 1956, for example, a marmite (pot) of milled corn sold for the equivalent of 6 cents in Jrdmie, 13 cents in Jacmel, and 19 cents in Port-au-Prince. These differences in price are partly due to differences in the mode of transportation (whether by donkey or by truck), or packaging (whether bagged or in drums or pots). The lack of standardization of weights and measures also complicates the computation of income. More than 160 different measures are used in market transactions in the interior-20 for coffee alone. For the income of urban workers, as well as for that of rural workers, there are little or no up-to-date published data. (See section on Base Pay, and tables 12 and 13.)
Unemployment and underemployment are impossible to gage with precision. Existing statistics on these subjects are incomplete and out of date, and moreover, it is impossible to measure the degree of underemployment among the great number of unpaid family workers. In 1963, Dr. Francois Latortue, former head of statistical work in the Haitian Department of Labor and Social Welfare, estimated that over half the Haitian labor force was unemployed or underemployed in 1963. Estimates by other Haitians were even higher.
Two-fifths of the self-employed farmers, according to estimates by Paul Moral, in his book Le Paysan Haitien, work less than an acre of ground and seven-tenths of them, less than two acres. Although they call themselves proprietors, they are engaged in what is called in Haiti "grappillage," a word of colonial origin indicating successive cycles of small crops, a kind of subsistence farming. These small farmers are the mainspring of the agricultural life of the country, yet their lot is sufficiently poor to make any sort of paid work attractive. Most of them are therefore easy to recruit for seasonal or migratory labor. Sixty percent of the male rural population falls into this category. Another 10 percent are "landless"-young peasants with no fixed resources who have not yet established themselves on the land, either
through ownership, lease of land in the public domain, or tenant farming. This 70 percent of the active male rural population over 14 years of age are available migrant and seasonal labor, unemployed except in the planting, harvesting, and sorting seasons, and therefore underemployed.
The extent of underemployment, in the sense of incomplete utilization of skills, is difficult to estimate in Haiti. The small cadre of skilled and professional labor is so much in demand that there is no measurable underemployment in this group. The limited amount and variety of skills generally available to industry in 1963 does not prove an inability on the part of Haitian labor to acquire new and different skills. The average level of educational attainment in the country obscures the Haitian potential in this respect.
The Government agency responsible for finding jobs for unemployed workers is the Placement Service in the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, originally established as a placement service for the Labor Department itself. This agency now, however, maintains branches in 11 cities-Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, St. Marc, Gona'ives, Jacmel, J6r6mie, Petit GoAve, Port-de-Paix, Fort Libert6, and Trou. (See section on Agencies Concerned With Labor.) There are no private employment agencies.
National Service System
There is no compulsory military training or service in Haiti. The treaty which ended United States occupation in 1934 established the regular Haitian army at 5,000 men. Since then, it has remained at this figure. There is no organized reserve of ex-army personnel. In Haiti, however, it has been traditional to enlarge the armed forces in times of domestic crisis and the army currently is supplemented by a civilian militia, numbering 10,000 or more. The workers usually conscripted in national emergencies are the Government employees.
Haiti maintains one military academy at Port-au-Prince. As a career, the military has attracted those who regard it as a steppingstone to a political office. All military officers are commissioned by the President.
Special Characteristics of the Labor Force
Since about six of every seven workers are engaged in agricultural activity, seasonal and migratory work assumes great importance for the labor force. Seasonal work in cutting sugarcane is offered during the autumn months by an American-owned company near Port-au-Prince and by two smaller enterprises, one (Centrale Dessalines) in the Dpartement du Sud, and one (La Rue) in the D6partement du Nord. The largest of these operations, as of 1963, employs about 2,400 regular workers. Of these, about 1,000 are employed the year around. The remainder are employed for only 6 months of the year, but are on the permanent roster and have job rights. Most of this group live in the neighborhood, and return to their own small farms during the off season. In addition, from 3,000 to 5,000 canecutters are hired on day-to-day or some other temporary basis for about 6 months of the year. These latter workers are migratory and come from all parts of the country.
Sisal is grown on at least 750,000 acres of land in the country. The largest plantations and processing plants are in the north near Cap Haitien and Fort Libert6. The major company supplying sisal and fibers for export formerly employed an estimated 3,500 to 5,000 workers on a permanent basis, but because of a depression in this activity, following a drop in prices, this number has been much reduced since 1953. An equal or greater number of cutters and strippers who work one plantation after another are employed seasonally. The "season" is a function of the life cycle of the sisal plant, not of the local climate.
The periodic employment offered in the coffee industry, Haiti's largest export crop, is in the sorting and shelling of beans. Most of this work is done by women-1,680 in Port-au-Prince and, according to an official 1961 report, half again as many in other cities and towns where coffee is handled. The peak employment period in coffee production is in the fall.
Industrial workers are employed largely in or near Port-au-Prince. An important component of the manufacturing sector is the number of small workshops which produce handcrafted objects for the tourist trade. Mechanization is almost unknown except in the small textile in-
TABLE 5. OCCUPATION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS IN SELECTED INDUSTRIES IN PORT-AU-PRINCE AND SIX
NEIGHBORING TOWNS,1 JUNE-OCTOBER 1959 2
Administrative, Professional, Clerical and
Total reported managerial technical sales Skilled labors Unskilled labor
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total--------.--. '15,411 100.0 522 3.4 681 4.4 5,374 35.0 3,198 20.7 5,636 36.5
Manufacturing-------. 6,519 100.0 284 4.3 59 1.0 506 7.7 1,689 26.0 3,981 61.0
Commerce------------. 5,489 100.0 91 1.8 330 6.0 4,124 75.1 470 8.5 474 8.6
Services. 2,473 100.0 69 2.6 221 9.0 567 23.0 790 32.0 826 33.4
Mining --------------- 493 100.0 45 9.1 38 7.7 23 4.9- 6139 28.0 248 50.3
Electricity. 243 100.0 20 8.2 10 4.1 65 26.8 69 28.4 79 32.5
communications7 '. 194 100.0 13 6.9 23 11.8 89 45.8 41 21.1 28 14.4
1 Kenscoff, P4tionville, Carrefour, Rivilre Froide, Bizoton, and Martissant. Also included are the mining enterprises at Memb (near Gonalves) and at Devonceley (near MiragoAne).
2 The data on which this table is based were gathered during the period June to October: any fluctuations which may have occurred during that period are not indicated.
a "Skilled" includes apprentices (645), one-fifth of all those classified as skilled workers, as well as beginners and semiskilled workers.
dustry. Coffee beans, for example, are still sorted by hand; shoemaking, cabinetmaking, production of straw and sisal shoes and handbags utilize simple hand processes.
About 20 percent of all wage and salary earners are classified as "skilled" in table 5. This figure is misleading, however, unless it be noted that it includes apprentices and beginners as well as semiskilled workers.
Formerly, technical employees were for the most part foreigners. This is no longer true. In 1959, foreign technical workers constituted about 1.4 percent of the total (681) reported in table 5. Professional employees are a very small part of the labor force-about 3 percent of wage and salary earners in the comparatively highly developed area covered by the table. In addition to the usual professions, there is a group listed as accountants who are regularly employed as teachers but who do custom accounting in their free hours. Professional persons in Haiti have often received advanced or professional training abroad.
Clerical and sales personnel make up a little more than a third of the workers covered in the table. Some commercial secretaries, having re-
4 Of the total 17,529 employees covered by the survey, 2,118 were not reported by occupational group.
6 Includes small handicraft industry producing handmade tourist goods.
Includes 21 carpenters.
STransportation and communication figures relate only to Port-auPrince.
SOURCE: Compiled from the Revue du Travail, May 1960, pp. 101 ff and May 1961, pp. 120 ff.
ceived training in Jamaica or the United States, can use both the French and English languages. Few, if any, clerical workers have experience or training with computing machines or modern posting and bookkeeping machines.
The productivity of Haitian labor is restricted because output in the agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors is dependent to a great degree on hand operations. The dispersed rural population raises crops with little or no attention to market standards, with the result that most Haitian products have received limited acceptance on the world market. The rural people are poor and technically untrained and do not have the means to transport their produce to central markets. Their usual business is transacted in the local villages, where one-fifth of a gourde (4 cents) is the normal basic unit of exchange. Market prices are established by traders and speculators who must consider the cost of transportation in their bargaining. Such conditions provide little incentive for the agricultural worker to improve either productivity or quality, handicapped as he is by illiteracy and lack of technical training. No systematic study of productivity in either industry or agriculture has ever been made.
Chapter III. Culture and Customs
The population of Haiti is almost entirely colored, and has been preponderantly so since the 16th century. Roughly, about 60 percent are pure Negro, 10 percent are mulattos or quadroons, and the remaining 30 percent are between the two extremes. The indigenous Indian tribes-Caribs and Arawaks-were rapidly exterminated following the discovery of Hispaniola, and the importation of African slaves began as early as 1509. The first of the slaves were probably brought from Dahomey, which at the time was a highly organized monarchy, with a written language. Some slaves were also brought from the Nigerian and Congo jungles. The Spanish gradually withdrew to the mainland, leaving what is now Haiti to the French, who had established a settlement at Port-de-Paix in 1664. By the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, Haiti was ceded to France. Hence, French and African influences are now dominant in modern Haiti, and few traces of Spanish influence survive. Haiti (then known as SaintDomingue) became the most profitable of the French colonies and the wealthiest of the Caribbean communities-a land of great sugar, coffee, cotton, and indigo plantations, owned by the French and worked by African slaves.
In the early period of independence, most of the whites who had not left the country were massacred. Mulattos, when the acknowledged sons of French fathers, were a privileged group in the colonial period, and retained a higher economic status during the national period. Since 1946, they have ceased to be a privileged class. In that year, Dumarsais Estim6, the first black (noir) to become President since 1915, was elected after a campaign in which the color line was made an issue. Since then all Presidents have been blacks.
In 1963, ethnic differences have little to do with social status. The basis of social differentiation is education, privilege, and financial status, rather than color. (See section on Social Structure.) The Haitian does not equate himself with the North American Negro. He feels that his is a majority status. It is nevertheless true that specific informal names are applied to degrees of skin color; the noir (black), the
griffe (three-fourths black), the mulatre or mulatto (one-half black) and the quarteron or quadroon (one-fourth black or less).
It is estimated that about 2,000 foreigners live in Haiti, almost all of them clustered at Port-au-Prince. The census for that city in 1949 (the latest information available) indicated that, excluding diplomatic and other special personnel, most of the foreign population came from other Caribbean areas (Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in particular) and from Belgium and France. Only about 8 percent came from the United States.
French is the official language of the country. It is the language of all commercial and Government operations; of the literature and the church. But the commonly spoken language is Haitian Creole. All native Haitians speak Creole and about 10 percent speak French also. Knowledge of one does not automatically enable understanding of the other. The literate person in Haiti can read, write, and speak French. French, with English or Spanish, is a requirement in the upper grades of the secondary schools. Clerical, technical, and professional workers use French and usually one other language as well. Unskilled labor, largely illiterate, use Creole. Many who cannot read or even speak French can understand it to some extent.
The Creole language of Haiti is believed by historians to consist of survivals of the Dahomey and Arawak languages overlaid on Norman French. Despite the common use of Creole throughout the country, it is only now being developed as a written language with its own grammar and printed texts.
Ninety percent of the population over 10 years of age is illiterate. Efforts to reduce illiteracy by using Creole instead of French have met with some resistance. Creole has no cultural status in Haiti. Because of this it has been difficult to find teachers who were willing to accept teaching of Creole as part of their official duties. French is associated in the public mind with better living and greater
prestige; the peasant (paysan) himself does not regard use of Creole as offering social advantage.
Haitian religious practices define social status as clearly as does language. Roman Catholicism is the traditional and socially accepted religion of the educated, upper income group. But the poor and the less educated have for a long time practiced a folk religion called vodun (or voodoo). This cult is traceable largely to the slaves brought to the country from Dahomey. Over the years, vodun has come under the influence of certain Roman Catholic forms.
In the early period of independence, during the rule of Dessalines (1804-1806), the Roman Catholic Church was disestablished and laws were issued permitting divorce on very broad grounds. The Vatican outlawed the Church in Haiti and priests and bishops were not permitted to enter the country. For over half a century Haiti was in open schism with the Roman church, and this long separation fostered the growth of native religious practices. In 1860, however, a Concordat was signed that once again established relations with the Roman Catholic Church.
The vodun worshipper considers himself a Roman Catholic. He is profoundly respectful of Christian sacraments,6 attaching great social importance to baptism and to the formalities involved in burial. He confesses to God and places Him above all his other patron spirits or "loas"; nevertheless, he continues to invoke the favorable intercession of the patron spirits. A belief in magic, good and bad, goes hand in hand with vodun practices, which assume that people can be haunted by the dead-that "zombies" can rise from the grave.
In the early 1940's, the Roman Catholic clergy started a vigorous campaign against vodun. The campaign was short-lived and essentially unsuccessful, as the Government realized it was losing the support of the houngans, or vodun priests. Vodun remains as widely
6 One observer commented that the Mass is celebrated in tongues unknown to the people at large: Latin for the ritual, French for the sermon-but some priests use Creole for sermons in country chapels. (James G. Leyburn, The Haitian People, pp. 129-130.)
practiced in Haiti today as it ever has been, and it has received encouragement under President Frangois Duvalier.
The peasant may wear his charms, protect his house with acacia branches, wear certain colors as propitiation for his gods, but there is no evidence that he rejects proper medical attention such as innoculations against disease, or that he refuses certain kinds of employment as inconsistent with his beliefs.
In 1955, Protestant sects accounted for only 12.5 percent of the total population. There were 53 recognized Protestant missions, the largest of which were operated by the Evangelical West Indian Church, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Church of God, Evangelical Baptists, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. These missions operated 433 urban churches, including the Episcopal Church at Port-au-Prince, and 911 rural churches. Half of their total resources of about 2.5 million gourdes (US$500,000) a year came from foreign contributions through the boards of the churches involved.
So far as minority groups exist at all in Haiti, their basis is political. The economically underprivileged are not organized. Labor unions are not militant. Ethnic factors and those of national origin have little divisive influence. Color is a common denominator, in spite of the consciousness of shadings (as reported in the section on Ethnic Groups), and although the mulatto minority (formerly a group of privilege, never one of protest) has at times been the target of criticism.
Political protest has been recurrent in Haitian history. Few presidents have tolerated effective dissident groups, political or otherwise. President Dumarsais Estim6, however, allowed a degree of political freedom after his accession to office in 1946. Trade unions were legally recognized for the first time. The Communist Party emerged briefly and elected a representative to the Legislature. Since 1948, when the Communist Party was legally outlawed, it has operated covertly. In general, the spirit of protest, or even of political opposition, has not been permitted to form openly organized
groups. (For example, see Leyburn, The Haitian People, pp. 211 ff.)
Literate Haitians constitute about 10 percent of the population and form the dominant social and political group. Within this sector is a smaller group, an litete" Roman Catholic in religion and French in culture. Its members are well educated, generally with more stress on classical humanistic studies and legal training than on engineering, agriculture, and the other technical disciplines. The women of the group have only recently begun to enter into public and professional life. The gulf that separates the lite from the poor and illiterate majority in the city and countryside is wide and deep. Social mobility in Haiti is minimal.
The condition and the attitudes of rural Haitians are affected by the confusion with respect to land titles-a confusion so great that often it is impossible legally to establish the rights of de facto owners. Alexandre Sabes P6tion, President of the southern part of Haiti at the time when Henri Christophe was king in the northern part (1806-18), began to break up colonial holdings, parceling out land to officers and soldiers of the Army of Independence. With some modifications, this practice was continued by his successors. Frequently, the subdivision of the land took place without consistent surveys and registration of titles. The picture of ownership was further confused by successive breaking off of acres to provide land for adult sons, squatters' rights exercised for many years on lands in the public domain, and the long-established custom of the Haitian Government to recognize natural children acknowledged by their fathers. The resulting uncertainty of land tenure causes a feeling of insecurity on the part of the rural dweller. The problem is all the more serious because, for him, the ownership of a few acres is both the means of livelihood and the basis of social status. The fear of close inspection of land titles tends to make him uncooperative with efforts to collect vitaf statistics and perform similar Government activities, and to cause him to fear tax levies (U.N. Mission to Haiti, pp. 87-88).
The rural sections (see section on Constitutional Summary) are little communities, often
isolated from central authorities because of difficulties in transportation. Each section is ruled by a chief who manages its public affairs.' Of this local leader, a Haitian observer recently commented: "The personage who is part and parcel of the rural landscape is the rural police officer or the Section Chief. He constitutes what one had in the ancient Roman Empire-a veritable proconsul. He has here . all rights over his fellow citizens . "8 The local leader is always from a social group
-les notables (the notables)-which is made up of the proprietors of 10 acres or more of land, about 5 percent of the rural population, and often includes, also, the owners of a wagon, truck, or a small grocery store. The chief is not chosen by popular election, but is the natural leader who emerges as a result of his economic status and personal character. He is the "big papa" (gran papa) of the neighborhood, the man who can afford to include a concubine in his household, or have tenants to do his farming. In the more remote mountain areas, however, rural society is more uniform and democratic and family groups are the only important social units.
The "notables" are the first of four social groups into which the rural population may be divided. Next are those (about 25 percent of the rural population), who own 6 to 10 acres of land, a rudimentary forge, or an animaldriven mill. The third order of social importance includes the smallest proprietors (60 percent of the rural population) living on the production of four or less acres of land. Below them are the landless peasants (10 percent of the rural population) who have no fixed resources, many of them young men who have not yet worked up to owning their own property.
The average size of the rural household is five persons. A type of common law marriage (plagage) and polygamy are both practiced. According to the 1950 census, there were six times as many placese" as married women among women 20 to 50 years old. "Honest placage" (i.e., monogamous) is a serious union
7 Paul Moral is the chief source of this account. Cf. his L'Econowie Haitienne, p. 554, and passim. q Maurice A. Lubin, "Quelques Aspects des Communautbs Rurales d'Haiti," in America Latina, Ano V. No. 1-2, January-June 1962. p. 20.
and is socially acceptable; but the woman of this union is never called Madame, but Petite Maman. Legal marriage costs money; most rural marriages occur in the late summer when vegetable and fruit crops have been sold, or in January when coffee, cotton, and sugarcane have gone to market. They are often contracted by the middle-aged or elderly who have shared a plagage union for many years, raised their children and are r well established as they can hope to be.
The rural Haitian considers children and women as resources to be carefully guarded. In the country it is said, "Les enfants, c'est de l'argent"-"Children are money." In rural areas, the woman acts as buyer and seller, the man as producer. Although custom decrees that the husband and father proclaim his superiority and carry no burdens or packages, it is the woman who adds to the household the fruits of her own kitchen garden, handwork or weaving, and her bargaining ability. Every month of the year the peasant (paysan) has something to sell, and the woman's part in this activity gives her a place of special importance in the family's economic affairs. Women, nevertheless, have no property rights and may not contract more than one union as a man may do.
In 1957, women for the first time exercised the right to vote in national elections. They organized for the promotion of social welfare and for raising women's status and were particularly interested in political and economic rights. The first large-scale effort was a national congress called in 1950 by the Feminine League for Social Action. This activity, however, was largely confined to the urban 61lite, and subsequently interest in the movement subsided.
Between the 61lite group and the peasant there is a small intermediate group, chiefly towns-
people. This group includes artisans, apprentices in the skilled trades, and former peasants who have been trained in schools for needy children and have now become urban dwellers.
Social life in Haiti, as described in many sources, is dependent on few formally organized diversions. Except for Masonic lodges, pre-Lenten carnival groups, and a rotary club at Port-au-Prince, there are no social or fraternal organizations. The peasant finds his social life in attending cock fights and his wife finds hers at the market place. Both find social as well as religious experience in attending church. In some communities, producer cooperatives and credit unions are centers of social life. University students formerly organized in student unions sometimes had political meetings as well as social functions. Under the Duvalier presidency, student organizations are prohibited.
Haitians are extremely polite. They shake hands at every meeting, regardless of the number of times they may see the same person during the day. They resent any implication that they lack initiative, responsibility, or practicality. Urban lite dwellers entertain frequently, and some lavishly. There are few organized sports facilities aside from those in privately owned country clubs and few public recreation centers. For these reasons, social life revolves around the home, and long, intellectual discussions are an important source of recreation for the educated Haitian.
Status is of major importance in all elements of society. Certain standards of appearance are maintained by professional workers, at staggering cost. Not only does skilled or professional work convey status, but among unskilled labor distinct categories are recognized, and even among domestics there is no interchange of jobs if it involves a step down in the social system.
Chapter IV. Education and Health
Haiti's constitution (adopted in 1957) provides that education shall be a responsibility of the Government; that elementary education is to be both free and compulsory for children from age 7 to 14; and secondary education beyond the age of 14 is to be free but not compulsory. Despite these legal provisions, Haiti has the highest rate of illiteracy in Latin America. In 1950, 90 percent of the persons over 10 years of age were unable to read and write (table 6), and as far as is known this rate has not declined. Illiteracy ranged from 86 percent of the 15- to 19-year age group to 92 percent of the group 65 years and over. In all age groups, illiteracy was somewhat higher among females than among males.
TABLE 6. PERCENT OF POPULATION WHICH
BY AGE AND SEX, 1950
Age Both sexes Male Female
All age group- 89.6 87.5 91.3
5- 9 years --- 95.6 95.5 95.8
10-14 years -------- 89.6 88.9 90.3
15-19 years --------- 86.4 85.1 87.8
20-24 years ------- 86.6 83.8 88.8
25-44 years --------- 90.2 87.3 92.7
45-64 years --------- 91.6 89.9 93.4
65 years and over 92.2 90.9 93.1
SOURCE: Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique (Port-au-Prince, Institut Ilatien de Statistique), Nos. 6-10, 1952-53, part 3, table IX.
The Haitian school system is highly centralized under the Department of National Education. There are no school districts in Haiti; supplying teachers and curriculum is the responsibility of the central authorities, not of local officials. The State Secretary of National Education, a cabinet officer, is directly responsible to the President of the Republic. There is some overlap in administrative responsibility between the Haitian Government and the Catholic Church, and between the Government and certain private schools. The Government finances certain parochial and private schools in whole or in part, but the operation of these schools is largely the responsibility of the church or the private organization concerned. The Department of Labor and Social Welfare has responsibility for workers' schools for illiterate adults, but not for other aspects of adult education.
The preponderantly rural character of Haitian society intensifies the problem of illiteracy and complicates the problems of school administration. Haiti is the Latin American country with the highest proportion of rural population. During the period 1954-55, according to the Haitian Institute of Statistics, less than 11 percent of 708,000 rural children in the 5 to 14 age group were enrolled in school, as compared with approximately 90 percent of 90,000 urban children in the same age group. In both town and country, there was a significant difference between the number of pupils enrolled and the number actually attending; the percent of those enrolled who attended was higher in the urban schools (88 percent) than in the rural ones (76 percent). With respect to the size of classes, also, rural schools were at a disadvantage; an average of 28 pupils per teacher in urban schools contrasted with the rural school's average of 62 pupils per teacher. Moreover, less than 11 percent (21) of the nation's limited supply of teachers with norm 1! school education (199) were in rural schools. )The percent of rural elementary school teachers with academic professional training of any kind was only slightly higher (91 out of 767).9
TABLE 7. ESTIMATED SCHOOL ENROLLMENT OF CHILDREN,
5-14 YEARS, 1954-55 1
Total number of children --
Number enrolled in school .__Percent enrolled -- .------Number of urban children --.
Number enrolled in urban schools -------------Percent enrolled -- - - - - - -
Number of rural children ----Number enrolled in rural schools .----------Percent enrolled . . . . . . .
90.4 708.279 75,564 10.7
1 Statements of the 5 to 14 age group population are based on the 1950 census; estimates of school enrollments in this age group are based on samplings taken in 1954-55. Figures are somewhat low, because of omitting children under 14 who had graduated from primary school.
SOURCE: Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique (Port-au-Prince, Institut Ha'itien de Statistique, No. 23, 1956). pp. 14, 16, and 18.
The situation of rural teachers is also inferior with respect to pay. Fifty-six percent
of all elementary teachers in 1955 were in
9 The material in this section is largely based on G. A. Dale, Education in the Republic of Haiti, and on official publications. Statistical data is for different years because of the limitations of available data; except for the increased enrollment described, how. ever, available sources indicate no important changes in educational conditions during the span covered by the data presented.
urban schools and only 44 percent in rural; yet 64 percent of the teachers in the lowest salary bracket-200 gourdes (US$40) per month, the legal minimum-were rural teachers, and only 36 percent urban. Rural teachers must find their housing as they can; sometimes it is a cot moved into a corner of the schoolroom each night.
Rural classes are often held in small, mudwalled, thatched houses, originally built as homes but forced into service as schools. Furniture consists of homemade benches and desks. Books and supplies are not free in public schools, and most rural pupils cannot afford to buy them. The urban school buildings are generally of better construction, and more pupils there can afford to buy books and other supplies.
In both urban and rural schools, enrollment has increased in recent years, but the rate of increase has been greater in the rural schools. From 1951 to 1956, total rural school enrollment rose from less than 62,000 to more than 96,000, or 56 percent. In the same period, urban school enrollment increased 44 percent.10 The percent of those enrolled who were in actual attendance also increased, although slightly. Despite the notable increase in enrollment, the vast majority of school age children (and approximately four-fifths of the 5 to 14 age group) are not in school. Only a third of firstyear pupils in rural schools continue into the second year, and less than 18 percent into the third year. (See chart 1.) Urban schools have somewhat better records, but lack of data makes detailed comparison difficult.
In the elementary schools, and especially the rural ones, there are language difficulties and shortages of textbooks. In some schools, textbooks from France and Canada are used; some copies of history and geography texts written by Haitians are available; but many schools are largely or entirely without textbooks and other teaching materials. The official language of instruction is French, whereas Creole is the only speech of the rural people and of the less privileged among the urban population. The difficulty of overcoming illiteracy is compounded, therefore, by the fact that many
10 The population of Haiti reportedly increased 13.2 percent in the period 1950-60.
children begin their education in what is to them a foreign language. A very limited beginning has recently been made in using Creole as the language of instruction.
There is a variety of educational institutions-public, private, parochial (both Catholic and Protestant), coeducational or for boys or for girls only, and specialized schools of several types. (See table 8.) Besides the Catholic schools subsidized by the Government in 1957, there were 387 nonsubsidized church schools, with an aggregate enrollment of approximately 17,000. Most of these (225, with an enrollment of 11,675) were Catholic schools; 106 were Baptist, Episcopal, or Seventh-day Adventist; other Protestant sects maintained five to seven schools each.
All rural schools are elementary schools, i.e., they include only the first seven grades. Of the 15 public secondary schools or lycles supported and operated by the Government in 1957, 4 were in Port-au-Prince, 2 in Jacmel, and 1 each in 9 other towns. Eight were coeducational. Physical plants included a few modern, well-equipped buildings, but most were crowded, poorly lighted, lacking in seating facilities, and generally unsuited to school use. (See Dale, p. 74.) The average salary of secondary school teachers in 1957 was equivalent to about 350 gourdes (US$70) per month.
On the secondary level, there were also about 32 private schools in 1957. Nine of these (six in Port-au-Prince) were financed in whole or in part by the Government. This group was generally more fortunate than the public secondary schools as to teacher qualifications, plant, and equipment. One of these was the Petit Seminaire Collge Saint Martial, which had an enrollment of over 1,000. It included both an elementary and a secondary section and also assisted in the training of the local Catholic clergy.
In all subsidized secondary schools, the course of study covers 7 years. Each school offers a choice of three programs-Latin-Greek, Latinscience, or science-modern languages-all designed to provide a secondary education, completion of which will qualify a student for admission to a university. In the period 1951
Chart 1. DISTRIBUTION BY GRADE, OF RURAL CHILDREN ATTENDING SCHOOL, 1961 Percent of total attendance
-a -a -0 -a
Source: Country Economic Program for Haiti (Washington: Agency for International Development, December 20, 1961), graph B accompanying p. 59.
TABLE 8. TYPES OF SCHOOLS AND SIZE OF TEACHING STAFFS, 1957-58
Type of school
All types of schools .- -- .Elementary .
Private ----Rural .
Parochial ----------------Secondary .
Public - - - - -
Private .Norma .
Rural Vocational _-_
Nurse's schools .-----------------Public ---Private commercial Adult. ----------------------
Workers (Department of Labor
and Social Welfare).
General (Department of Education) - - - -
435 321 47 15 32 3 2 1 26 3 16 7
Number of schools
Boys' schools Girls' schools
S_ Teaching staff
---- I- I---- 1 ---- 1-- I I
1112 84 28
(2) 81 60
I Omits some or all private schools.
2 Not available.
3 Includes 32 evening classes and two part-time schools.
4 Includes 92 teachers of evening classes and part-time schools.
6 Includes 107 priests and 255 nuns.
s All secondary schools are in urban places.
7Does not include the Ecole Normal Sup6rieure, which is on the University level. It had a staff of 31 teachers, all but two of whom were men.
to 1956, high school graduates from all Haitian secondary schools numbered less than 300 per year.
The nonsubsidized private schools, most of which have both elementary and secondary levels, vary greatly in all respects. Some are transitory, run as a sideline by teachers who have other employment as well. Being dependent on tuition, some hale frequent financial problems. Other private schools, however, are well established. The Institution St. Louis de Gonzaque, for example, with a 1957 enrollment of 515 in the primary and 368 in the secondary school, is one of the country's most important educational institutions. Its library has more books than the National Library, and in the 5-year period, 1951-56, 57 of its graduates were admitted to universities in the United States, France, and other countries outside Haiti. Most of the religious brothers who teach in this school are French or Canadian. Like all but 2 of the 27 nonsubsidized secondary schools in Haiti in 1957, this school is in Port-au-Prince.
Several schools in Port-au-Prince have sponsors in the United States. The Inter-American Schools Service, an agency of the American
160 '717 4, 245 (2)
120 '82 2,672 (2)
71 71 1,463 '367
49 11 '796 264
(2) (2) 413 (2)
40 635 1, 573 (2)
15 360 1, 232 (2)
25 275 341 196
(2) (2) 495 (2)
2 8 419 368
(2) (2) (2) (2)
1 1 66 (2)
1 0 39 (2)
0 1 27 (2)
7 8 366 (2)
3 0 50 24
3 2 271 (2)
1 6 45 24
0 392 392 (2)
0 123 123 i (2)
0 269 269 (2)
O 10 211 206
532 (2) (2)
(21) 145 (2) 51 (2) (2) (2) (2) (2) 26 (2) 21 (2)
8 The University includes schools or faculties of agriculture, surveying, oliytechnics, pharmacy, obstetrics, medicine, dentistry, law, and ethnology, as well as The Ecole Normal Suprieure and The Grand Se4minaire Notre-Dame. The first three and the last are for men; the others are co-educational.
SOURCe: Derived from Bulletin Trimestriel du Staliatique (Port-au, Prince, Institut Haitien de Statistique, Nos. 20, 31, 32 [combined] March 1959), p. 198.
Council on Education, until recently operated the Union School, which provided 231 pupils with an American-type education from kindergarten through the 11th grade. This school closed in May 1963, with hopes of reopening the following September with both elementary and high school grades. The Col!ige Slminaire Adventiste is a coeducational Seventh-day Adventist boarding school on the secondary level with a capacity, in 1959, for 90 students. In that year, the Seventh-day Adventist Church also operated 22 primary schools with an enrollment of 1,336 students. The Holy Trinity School, an elementary coeducational school supported by the National Council of the Episcopal Church of the United States, had an enrollment of 350 in 1961. In Cap HaYtien is the Coildge Pratique du Nord, a Baptist School which in 1963 had an enrollment of about 300 pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 through 12.
Advanced technical and professional education is offered only at the five normal schools and the one university. The Superior Normal School is part of the University. The othersthe Urban Normal School for Men, the Urban Normal School for Women, the Elie Dubois Vocational School, and the Rural Normal
School, with a combined enrollment of about 350-are on the secondary level. The teachers are about evenly divided between clergy and lay teachers. The former are mostly French or Canadian; the latter are Haitian. In spite of the contribution made by these institutions, adequate training of a sufficient supply of teachers is a major educational problem.
The university was established in 1944 by the Government. It charges no tuition fees, receives no grants-in-aid from the Government except for certain specific scholarships, and has no endowments. Salaries for the professional staff of the university are low-the average monthly salary of 100 professors in 1959 was the equivalent of 489 gourdes (US$97.80). Many professional personnel hold several parttime positions. Enrollment is about 1,000 students a year, of whom less than 200 are women; half of these study nursing. Since facilities for higher education are limited, the Government has provided some 300 scholarships a year for study abroad.
The university embraces colleges or schools of law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, polytechnices, surveying, agriculture, theology, and ethnology, as well as. the Superior Normal School. The courses in law, polytechnics, pharmacy, and nursing are of 3 years' duration; diplomas in medicine, dentistry, and agriculture require 4 years of preparation. A preparatory year is required in medicine, dentistry, and polytechnics. For the doctorate of medicine, a year of internship also is required; and for a license to practice medicine, 2 or 3 additional years of specialization. Besides the College in Port-au-Prince, there are four law schools, in Cap Haitien, Gonalve, Les Cayes, and Jr6mie, not affiliated with but controlled by the University of Haiti, which confirms the diplomas granted. A limited number of students in the Polytechnical School secure part-time work in the Ministry of Public Works, thus gaining practical experience in irrigation, road contruction, bridge building, etc.
A 67-percent increase in attendance in vocational schools occurred from 1951 to 1956. In 1956, there were 16 such schools with an enrollment of 2,500. Seven were boarding schools.
All schools were urban (10 of them in Port-auPrince) and hence available mainly to the 10 percent of the population that live in cities. All vocational schools provide academic and religious study in addition to vocational subjects. Entrance requirements, programs, and levels of accomplishment differ greatly. At one school, pupils are admitted in the order of application. For the most part, they are 10-yearolds from needy families who are seeking institutional placement for their children. At the Ecohle Nationale des Arts et M~tiers, on the other hand, applicants must be 14 or 15 years old and pass a competitive examination which in the past has eliminated 85 percent of the candidates.
In 1957, there were a number of highly qualified teachers in the vocational system, some of them trained in Europe, the United States, Canada, or elsewhere in Latin America, who helped to train other teachers. In one school at one time, there were seven United Nations experts, mostly of French nationality, working under ILO auspices, who gave on-the-job training in teaching methods to the staff.
These vocational schools, all supported by the Government, train a limited number of young people to enter a few skilled occupations. In none of the vocational schools, however, is there instruction in agriculture, despite the dependence of the national economy on agriculture. The level of instruction ranges from preparation for skilled cabinetmakers to minimal training in simple hand processes for cobblers who have spent a few years in a school which served both as a prevocational school and an orphanage. The number of diplomas awarded for completing the various courses in all vocational schools in 1956 was 177, in subjects ranging from home economics to masonry. (See table 9.)
Commercial education in Haiti is provided almost entirely by private schools. In 1956, it was offered in six licensed schools, all located in Port-au-Prince. Tuition fees vary slightlynone are over 25 gourdes (US$5) per month. To enroll in a commercial school, the student typist must have completed at least the first 3 years of secondary education; for accounting and secretarial training, the student must have
TABLE 9. NUMBER OF VOCATIONAL SCHOOL GRADUATES, 1955-56
Vocation Total Male Female
All specialties ---- 177 53 124
Home economics 77 0 77
Shoe making -- 4 4 0
Tailoring 11 11 0
Cabinetmaking --------- 8 8 0
Electricity - -- --4 4 0
Nursing 43 0 43
Hotel service --- 14 10 4
Masonry 3 3 0
Mechanic (general) --- 8 8 0
Mechanic (automobile)___ 3 3 0
Weaving ____ 2 2 0
SOURCE: Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique (No. 23, December 1956), p. 158.
completed secondary school. Typing courses last 1 year, and a speed of 40 words a minute with less than 3 percent error is required for certification. Accounting and secretarial students take English, to which they have already been exposed in secondary school. Dictation and transcription are taught in both French and English. The number of students admitted to private commercial schools in the 1955-56 scholastic year was 76, of whom 48 were women.
A few commercial courses are offered in two vocational schools but are neither as detailed nor advanced as the courses in private schools. Some secretaries go to Jamaica or the United States for commercial training, if they can afford it. The trained secretary in Haiti is better educated than the group of elementary teachers (3 out of every 10) who have had no training beyond 6 years of primary and 2 years of secondary school.
Attempts to meet the educational needs of people beyond school age were first undertaken by private and religious organizations in the 1930's. It was not until 1947, however, that the General Administration of Adult Education was established by the Government with the stated aim of "complete elimination of illiteracy." In 1951, responsibility in the field was divided between the Section of Adult Education in the Department of Education and a workers' education organization under the Department of Labor and Social Welfare. By 1956, there were 300 adult literacy centers throughout the nation, operated by the Department of Education, with a total enrollment of 11,656--but with an average daily attend-
ance of only 46 percent of this number. In the same year, adult literacy centers operated by the Department of Labor and Social Welfare numbered 225, with a total enrollment of 4,390 with an average daily attendance of 61 percent. Centers for adult education are frequently evening schools. Many of them are in villages and conducted in a rural school or other gathering place. Typical of these schools is an open shed erected near a crossroad and in a clearing outlined by white stones. The school is surrounded with trees and shrubbery, groves of coffee trees providing shade and coolness. The furniture is crude; a single table, five benches on posts planted in the ground, and two or three chairs. Teachers are chiefly public school teachers, giving service in addition to their regular jobs. Subjects are taught in Creole and include reading and writing, arithmetic, hygiene, civics, and the history and geography of Haiti. In some centers, the work includes organizing community meetings, building latrines, providing first aid, assisting with agricultural problems, promoting village cleanup programs, and improvement of houses. These programs are sometimes hampered by the language problem.
The Haitian-American Institute, a binational center assisted by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and administered jointly by Haitians and Americans, maintains a library of 3,500 volumes in Port-au-Prince. Its chief activity is giving instruction in English and French. Over 800 students were reported in 1962 to be taking English classes at the Center at Port-au-Prince and 218 in a local activity at Cap Haitien. Most of the pupils are adults, but special classes are held for children. The staff of 19 persons includes 15 teachers of English and French, some of whom are Haitians. USIA has also sponsored a 2-week summer seminar on methods and materials for teaching English. In 1962, this seminar was attended by 50 Haitian teachers, one-fourth of them from areas outside Port-au-Prince, who during the year taught a total of 6,000 students. The Institut Frangais, at Port-au-Prince, supplies teachers to the Superior Normal School and to the University; provides lectures, films, and radio programs; publishes a widely cir-
culated bulletin; maintains a library of over 3,000 volumes; and assists Haitian students to obtain scholarships at French schools and universities.
On-the-job training, or apprenticeship training, is regulated by the Labor Code and conducted completely outside the school system. This program provides that an apprentice must be at least 14 years of age. All contracts governing conditions of apprenticeship are to be written in French and registered with the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, unless the apprentice has been taken into the home of an employer who has the legal status of parent. The maximum duration of an apprenticeship contract is 3 years, but the period of apprenticeship may differ with the trade, and the General Directorate of Labor may fix the limits in agreement with the unions active in the trade.
Since 1947, the law has required that apprentices be protected by contracts under which they "engage to work in exchange for vocational instruction." In accepting an apprentice, the employer agrees to provide theoretical as well as practical training; to supervise conduct and moral development; to provide a semiannual medical examination; and to grant a 15-day holiday every 6 months. An apprentice cannot be forced to perform domestic work or work alien to the trade he hopes to pursue; he cannot do night work or work longer hours than are usual in the establishment. The apprentice, on his part, agrees to follow the instructions of his master and to be faithful and punctual in pursuit of his duties. He cannot abandon his apprenticeship without a reason, which must be approved by the General Directorate of Labor.
In mining and quarrying, apprenticeship is a required condition for engaging the service of a minor. In this industry, one of the conditions to be met in order to obtain a license to operate is that the employer, at his own expense, operate a school to provide basic training.
Most of the requirements of the Labor Code, on this subject, represent goals yet to be achieved. There have been some sporadic efforts to meet the standards set by the code, but in 1963, such interest was largely dormant.
Health and Sanitation
The Haitian Government estimated the death rate in 1950 to be slightly over 30 per 1,000 inhabitants, and the infant mortality rate to be over 171 per 1,000 live births. For the capital city of Port-au-Prince, the annual death rate was estimated to be nearly 21 per 1,000 inhabitants, and the infant mortality rate between 65 and 82 per 1,000 live births. In the nation's population as a whole, the estimated average life expectancy at birth was 33 years; if a child should survive the first 5 years, he might expect to attain the age of 45; and if he should survive for 20 years, his life expectancy at that point reportedly would extend to age 54.
The principal diseases in Haiti are malaria, intestinal parasitic infestations, gastroenteritis (in children), tuberculosis, typhoid, syphilis, hookworm, and tropical ulcers. Statistics on the incidence of diseases are largely limited to hospitalized cases, which are inadequate for nationwide generalizations, and to findings with respect to specific diseases by international agencies. According to reports of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional branch of the World Health Organization, Haiti has the highest national incidence of malaria in the Americas. The number of recorded cases per 100,000 population in 1960 was reported to be 1,101. A rate as high as 1,000 per 100,000 has been reported only in parts of Brazil, parts of Colombia, and parts of Nicaragua.
Tuberculosis has been a chief cause of death among hospitalized patients. This disease has been said to be most prevalent in the larger towns with crowded slums, but figures are lacking on the incidence of the disease in the countryside. The PAHO estimated the incidence of tuberculosis in Haiti in 1961 to be 94 per 100,000. In its Progress Report on Tuberculosis Control in the Americas (1962), information on the death rate from this disease was lacking only for Haiti.
In the early 1940's, yaws, a debilitating, contagious tropical disease, afflicted 60 to 70 percent of the population. By 1962, however, this disease had been practically eliminated, and residual foci of infection will be eliminated in
the near future, if present programs are continued, according to PAHO's 1962 annual report. This "colossal success" (to quote a Haitian Government report) was due to campaigns begun in 1942 by the American Health Mission under the auspices of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs (precursor in Latin America of ICA and AID), and continued after 1950 under a tripartite agreement between the Government of Haiti, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.
Contributory to the incidence of disease in Haiti are poor sanitary conditions, inadequate housing, malnutrition, and insufficient medical personnel and facilities. The PAHO reported in 1962 that Haiti was last among the American Republics with respect to the number of homes which had running water and had facilities for sewage disposal. Of over 400,000 housing units in four departments outside Port-au-Prince, approximately 95 percent, according to 1950 census data, were dependent on spring, canal, or river water for drinking as well as for other uses. In 4 percent, the occupants used a public fountain; less than 1 percent had water piped to their homes. Ninety-four percent of these homes were without toilet facilities of any kind; 4 percent had outhouses, and 2 percent had indoor facilities.
In Port-au-Prince, this census showed that out of almost 33,000 housing units, about 42 percent had water piped into their homes and in 48 percent the occupants had the use of a public fountain. In about 10 percent, no provision was made for water. About 79 percent had outhouses and 4 percent had indoor facilities, while nearly 17 percent had no toilet facilities.
Seventy-five percent of the dwellings in Haiti are 1-2 room structures, each housing an average of 4 to 5 persons. Construction varies with the section of the country. On some mountain slopes rural dwellings are built of wood; in the valleys and plains, rural housing is mostly mud-walled with a clay floor and a thatched roof. In some villages, two story houses have been observed, one room on top of
the other in imitation of urban dwellings. The peasant often sleeps on mats made of banana leaves. Where family finances allow a bed, it is usually made of four posts driven into the ground, bearing a straw or cotton mattress on wooden slats. In Port-au-Prince, most homes are of wood or cement construction, ranging from immense houses to the waterfront hovels of the La Saline slum. In older houses, windows are furnished with solid wooden shutters on the outside and slatted shutters on the inside. In the city, much of the cooking is done with charcoal in a separate kitchen; in the rural areas, over an open fire in the yard.
The Government provides some low-rent housing in urban areas, through its Workers Housing Administration (OACO), attached to the Department of Labor and Social Welfare. About 67 percent of the monthly rental is credited toward purchase price; the remainder is used by OACO for overhead and repairs. The first of these worker cities was constructed at Cap Haitien but, according to OACO, it was inadequate in every respect. Two other developments, called the Cit6s St. Martin I and II, were completed during Magloire's term of office in the early 1950's. The Duvalier administration has erected housing in a development at Vareux not far from Port-au-Prince, which consists of single-family dwellings and 2-unit apartment houses. No information has been found on the number of units provided in these four housing developments.
Despite the state of housing generally in Haiti, shelter costs have risen more than any other major consumption item.
The diet of most of the population is inadequate and not well balanced. There is extreme daily and seasonal irregularity in food supply, a predominance of carbohydrates and insufficiency of proteins, and, in Paul Moral's words, the provision of food has a "preponderant and even tyrannical place" in the rural Haitian family economy. Few peasants can afford to raise food entirely for their own consumption, so the choicest produce goes to market as a cash crop. It is estimated that the rural population averages somewhat less than 1,500 calories
per capita each day." The peasant's morning meal is sketchy--a little coffee and a tapioca biscuit, perhaps. No lunch is prepared, and a mixed pot of whatever the garden yields usually makes the evening meal. Travelers to Haiti have commented that it is common to see the school child carrying his lunch-a stalk of
sugarcane-over his shoulder. Pilfering
("picorage")-a fruit picked by the wayside or a bit of sugarcane cut in a field-provides a significant dietary element which defies statistical analysis. Statistics on the makeup of the Haitian diet and on the proportion of the family budget that goes for food are fragmentary and conflicting. Studies based on various samplings, published from 1951 to 1957, give percentages of the family budget spent for food varying from 34.8 percent for urban salaried workers to 66.6 percent for rural workers. There are no available statistics on the dietary habits and expenditures of city slum dwellers.
A report by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), based on observations made in 1955, describes the general nutritional situation :12
The very prevalent malnutrition is due to the fact not only that the peasant is ignorant of the principles of a healthy and balanced diet, but also that the food products available to him are often in insufficient quantities. As a result, for lack of appropriate nourishment, he is incapable of the physical effort required for the indispensable care of his animals and his fields. [It is necessary to admit] the gravity of the malnutrition among children as well as among adults, and among urban as well as rural populations.
Insufficient knowledge of basic, elementary agricultural practices, combined with a limitation of effort caused by a chronic undernourishment, appear clearly as the principal causes of the present situation of the rural population of Haiti.
It has been said of the Haitian agricultural worker that he never really starves but is never really fed, either. According to Moral, however, death from starvation is not unknown in the countryside (Moral, Paysan, p. 217).
11 Paul Moral. L'Economie Haitienne, pp. 42-43. Recent estimates of daily calorie consumption per capital in some other countries are: Brazil, 1.640; Honduras, 2,200. Cf. ILO Yearbook of Labor Statistics, 1961, p. 466. Haiti does not appear in the ILO tabulation. The average daily requirement of young people in warm climate has been calculated to be 1,950 calories; see Annales de la nutrition et de l'alimentation (Paris, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, 1957, vol. IX, No. 2.), pp. 53 ff. 12 Translated from Rapport au Gouvernement d'Haiti sur l'En.eignement Menager (Organization des Nations Unies pour l'Alimentacion et L'Agriculture, Rome. 1949), p. 3.
Haiti has the most acute shortage in all the Americas of physicians and of hosptial beds. In 1957, according to PAHO, it had only one physician per 10,000 population, and 0.5 beds in general hospitals per 1,000 population. There were 1.6 physicians per 10,000 in Guatemala; 2.1 in Honduras; and 5.7 in Mexico. There were 2.5 beds in general hospitals per 1,000 in Guatemala; 1.7 in Honduras; and (in 1958, exclusive of private hospitals) 1.2 in Mexico.
There are a number of Government health agencies. The Central Administration of the Public Health Service in Port-au-Prince is under the Secretary of State for Public Health, appointed by the President of the Republic. The Secretary is assisted by a Director-General, who coordinates the activities of the three main divisions: Public Assistance, Public Health, and Rural Medicine. The Division of Public Assistance maintains 11 general hospitals and 6 special hospitals, with a total of 2,137 beds, and a staff which, as of 1956, included 138 physicians, 240 nurses, and 230 technicians. The Division of Public Health includes three international liaison units and nine urban health centers, five of which are in Port-auPrince. In 1956, its staff consisted of 48 physicians, 20 dentists, 3 sanitary engineers, 73 nurses and midwives, and 258 pharmacists, sanitary police, and health inspectors. The Division of Rural Medicine supervised 7 rural health units (each with 20 hospital beds), 3 health centers, 36 rural dispensaries, and 125 rural clinics. Its staff included 51 physicians (8 of whom worked on the administrative staff), 6 dentists, 10 nurses, 28 officers and inspectors, and 207 auxiliary personnel. In 1962, a project for rural medicine was discussed and a pilot project planned.
The national health services budget for 1958-59 was reported to be approximately 19 million gourdes (US$3.8 million), or 55 gourdes (US$1.10) per capita. This was one of the lowest per capita expenditures for health services in 17 American countries for which data have been tabulated.13
3 Summary of Four-Year Reports on Health Conditions in the Americas. 1957-60 (PAHO and WHO, Washington, July 1962), p. 65. The per capita expenditure for health of Haiti was the next to lowest listed, but the figures for Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Peru included expenditures for social security, and the figures for different countries are for different dates, varying from 1958-59 to 1960-61; hence, they are not strictly comparable.
The concentration of hospitals, doctors, nurses and laboratory facilities is mainly at Port-au-Prince. The General Hospital there is used as a teaching facility for the University of Haiti. There is also a new 25-room private hospital (Canape Vert) which provides all hospital services, and all Haitian doctors are allowed to practice there. Besides the hospitals and health centers administered by the Public Health Service, there are clinics in the rural areas maintained by church or international health missions. One of these has undertaken improvements in the public health hospital at Jr6mie; and the new 50-room Albert Schweitzer Hospital in the Artibonite Valley (the gift of William Mellon, Jr., to be operated by the Grant Foundation) has been completed. The Social Insurance Institute (IDASH) maintains its own hospital, clinic, laboratory and other services, largely devoted to work accidents.
In spite of some increase in attention to rural health problems, medical officers of the central health administration for the most part are trained for hospital service only, and take less interest in rural problems. Most of the administrators of the health districts are surgeons and doctors-in-chief of the hospitals. They continue in private practice, since their salaries are inadequate; for this reason-all the more compelling because of transportation difficulties and the lack of reimbursement for travel expenses-they prefer to remain at their urban home stations. Although their instructions require Public Health rural doctors to visit the rural clinics and dispensaries, the visiting is
seldom done." The rural clinics and dispensaries lack regular supervision. According to a United Nations mission appraisal in 1949, "in the rural areas the Public Health Department has not proved equal to its task" (U.N., Mission to Ha : i, p. 66).
In isolated areas, voodoo priests (houngans) with their knowledge of herbs and traditional remedies, are much revered. Some of the remedies used by them are bottled and sold at roadside stands. Others are used in secret to the accompaniment of incantations invoking the intercession of a god or spirit. Thus magic and medicine become intertwined in the rural areas. There is, however, no evidence that even the most isolated rural people have any superstitions that interfere with the use of modern medical techniques.
Eight projects for improving health conditions in Haiti were being sponsored in 1961 by the Pan American Health Organization
(PAHO), some of them with the collaboration of AIL, UNICEF, or FAO. These projects included yaws and m. i eradication, a public
health laboratory, fellowships for study in public health administration, public health services, medical education, nutrition, a.d promotion of community water supplies. Some of these projects are well advanced, but others have not gone beyond the planning stage.
14 In the rural areas, 130 clinics and dispensaries treated 200,000 to 250,000 cases per year, according to a 1959 report. These facilities were irregularly scattered through the country. In the North, there were 31 serving a rural population of 465,000 people; in the Northwest, 9 clinics served 155,000 people; in the Artibonite, 23 clinics served 520,000 persons; the West had 42 rural clinics for its 900,000 population and the South had 28 for 670,000 rural people. In consequence, some rural families had to travel as much as 90 miles for treatment. Cf. Paul Moral, L'Economie Haitienne; p. 43.
PART II. GOVERNMENT AND LABOR RELATIONS
Chapter V. Government
Constitutional Summary Haiti was first established as a republic in 1806. Since then, Haiti has had at least 13 constitutions-more than 20, if various basic laws modifying or restoring prior constitutions are counted. It has been customary for each incoming government to enact a new basic law tailored to its own goals. The present constitution, replacing that of 1950, was adopted on December 22, 1957.15
This Constitution proclaims that national sovereignty resides in the people, and that Haiti is a democratic and representative republic. National and regional elections are scheduled (but not always held) every 6 years to elect the President, the legislature, and the communal councils. All citizens 21 years of age and over are eligible to vote. The right of women to vote and to hold office was established for the first time by the 1957 Constitution.
Constitutional guarantees include freedom of speech, of religion, and of peaceful assembly. No political party is outlawed by the Constitution. The death sentence cannot be pronounced for political reasons except in case of treason. No one can be sued or arrested except in conformity with law. The right to hold property is guaranteed to citizens, but property entails obligations; its use must be in the general interest. Expropriation of private property is permitted by the Constitution only if public need is proved and fair, and prior compensation given. Ex post facto laws are forbidden, except in penal matters when the outcome would be favorable to the delinquent.
Aliens may acquire citizenship after 10 years of continuous residence in Haitian territory, and exercise political rights 5 years later. Acquired citizenship is automatically lost by 3
15 For the text of the 1957 Constitution. see Le Moniteur (the official gazette), Numdro Extraordinaire, December 22, 1957.
years of continuous residence outside the country. A foreigner's right to own property is circumscribed; that is, he may own one residence and whatever land or improved property is required for his business or occupation. A foreigner may also acquire land in the public domain for development or agricultural cultivation, provided that he undertake any public improvements required, such as docks, irrigation ditches, and roads. Such improvements revert to State ownership after 15 years.
The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Government are independent of each other and their powers cannot be exceeded or delegated, according to one provision of the Constitution. Another passage provides, however, that the President can temporarily dispense with the legislature, if that body votes to grant him full powers.
Executive power is vested in the President, elected for a 6-year term,16 who must be Haitian-born, at least 40 years old, resident in the country, and a property owner. He receives an annual salary equivalent to 120,000 gourdes (US$24,000). To stand for election, an aspirant for the presidency must renounce any government position he may hold.
The executive branch of the Government includes the Departments (Dipartements Minist&riels) of Finance, Public Works, Labor and Social Welfare, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, National Education, Commerce and Industry, Tourism, Justice, Coordination and Information, Interior and National Defense, Cults (Religion), and Public Health. By far the largest are the Departments of Education and of Public Health, which together have 10,000 employees.
16 The present incumbent, after a reelection held under extraconstitutional procedures, was inaugurated for another 6-year term on May 22, 1961-2 years before the expiration of his first term. The 1957 Constitution does not repeat the explicit prohibition of reelection which was part of the 1950 Constitution.
These agencies are large because the central Government hires and pays teachers, principals, nurses, and doctors in the public schools, clinics, and hospitals of the country. The Departments of Justice, and Public Works (whose employees include telephone and telegraph operators), are the next largest in number of employees. The other departments are relatively small.
The law-making power is vested in a unicameral legislature. The Constitution initially provided for 67 members. Decision as to the number of citizens each Deputy should represent was left to the Legislature. In 1962, there were fewer than 60 members. The legislature meets for 3 months each year and is subject to recall by the President. It has the constitutional right to override a presidential veto, or it may, as stated above, grant the President full powers for a fixed period. A member of the legislature must be Haitian, at least 25 years old, and a resident for at least 5 years of the area he represents. He may not be an owner or representative of a firm holding a contract with, or concession from, the Government. A Deputy receives the equivalent of 2,000 gourdes (US$400) a month. The only government jobs he may hold concurrently with his elected term are as head of a Cabinet Department, or as an Ambassador, and while holding either of these positions he is not eligible to vote in the Legislature.
Judicial power is exercised by various courts whose judges are appointed by the President. The Court of Cassation, which sits in Port-auPrince, is the highest court in the land. Its six judges and their three substitutes are appointed by the President of the Republic for 10-year terms. The Court of Cassation rules on the constitutionality of actions of the lower courts. There are four Courts of Appeal whose judges are also appointed by the President for 10-year terms. These courts sit at Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitian, GonYaves, and Les Cayes. Thirteen Civil Courts hear criminal as well as civil cases. There is one such court at Port-au-Prince and at each of the port cities. The lowest courts, about 146 in number, are scattered throughout the country. They are presided over by Justices of the Peace, appointed by the President of the Republic. They try many kinds of cases, criminal, civil, and commercial. Attached to these courts are officials who register births,
deaths, and other vital statistics. A Land Court (Tribunal Terrien) at Port-au-Prince determines land claims. Labor Courts to hear cases relating to violations of the Labor Code, and to juvenile courts, are provided for by law, but neither labor nor juvenile courts were operative as of April 1963. The Army maintains its own Military Court.
The Constitution of 1957 divided the country into nine departments (Dipartements du Nord, du Nord-Est, du Nord-Ouest, de L'Artibonite, du Centre, de'Ouest, du Sud-Est, du Sud, and de la Grande Anse). The Government, however, continues to adhere to the previous five departments (Nord-Ouest, Nord, L'Artibonite, Ouest, and Sud). The D6partements are subdivided into Arrondissements, which in turn are subdivided into Communes. A Commune without sufficient revenue to maintain a separate administration may be attached to an adjacent Commune, whereupon it becomes a Quartier. The rural sections are the smallest administrative units.
Control by the central Government over these administrative divisions and subdivisions is ensured by the Constitution, and established by practice. Appointed prefects, who serve as the President's personal representatives, administer the Departments and the Arrondissements. Arrondissement Councils, appointed by the President and presided over by the prefects., supervise the Communal Councils. These Arrondissement Councils, in the language of the Constitution, "take care of the political, administrative, economic, social, and cultural interests of the Communes which they supervise" (art. 133). On the other hand, the Constitution declares the Communes to be "autonomous" (autonome)-without defining the meaning and scope of this term-and provides that they shall elect their Councils. In practice, however, President Duvalier also fills vacancies in these Councils by appointment; communal elections, when and if held, have lost practical significance. The Constitution provides also that Technical Sub-Councils shall be appointed by the President to assist each elected Communal Council, but such Sub-Councils are not known to exist.
In the 554 rural sections, at the lowest administrative level, nevertheless, the dominant in-
fluence for all local affairs is that of the local leader. (See section on Social Structure.)
The Constitution guarantees a number of workers' rights: The right to labor union activity, including collective bargaining; fair wages; completion of apprenticeship; protection of health; social security; family welfare ("to the degree corresponding to the economic development of the country") ; and paid annual vacations. The basic law establishes the general right of freedom to work, and at the same time warns that this freedom is not unlimited. "Freedom to work," it declares, "is exercised under the supervision and surveillance of the State, and is conditioned by the Law" (art. 23). The employer is placed under a "moral obligation" to contribute to the education of his illiterate workers.
In 1961, constitutional guarantees and laws affecting labor were combined in a single Labor Code, the Code du Travail Francois Duvalier, named for the President of the Republic. This Code, which is detailed and specific, made several changes in previous existing laws. Its new provisions made collective bargaining and a collective contract compulsory when two-thirds of the workers are organized and request them; prohibited employers from discharging workers because of union membership (but declared the closed shop illegal) ; and provided for compulsory arbitration procedures. The General Directorate of Labor is the enforcing agency. It enters into contract negotiations as a third party, and maintains a record of agreements. Labor unions must report any information required by the Secretary of Labor, provided the information concerns union activities.
Labor organizations and labor-management relations are closely supervised and controlled by the Haitian Government. One Haitian writer (Frangois Latortue, Le Droit du Travail en Haiti, p. 135) says "The constitution of a union does not depend on the permission of the Government, it is true. But given the youth of the trade union movement in our country, the ignorance and illiteracy of the great majority of members, which opens the door to a new form of exploitation of labor, the legislator has
deemed it necessary to subject union activity to the control of the General Directorate of Labor in certain measure. It has even invested the Secretary of Labor with the power to suspend a union's activities if it is established that the organization has indulged in unlawful acts against persons or property." (See section on Labor Unions.)
The Labor Code also contains regulations on the employment of minors. Children 12 years of age and over may be employed outside of school hours in light, nonindustrial work, up to 2 hours a day, subject to restrictions designed to protect their health. Between 14 and 18 years of age, children are required to obtain work permits approved by parents or guardians or by the magistrate of the commune or the justice of the peace in the place where they live. Employed minors over 14 years old must be free during the school day to pursue their education, unless they have primary school certificates. Minors under 16 are not permitted to work in hotels, pensions, restaurants, or clubs. Employers of children under 14 years of age in domestic service must obtain special work permits, annually renewed until the children attain the age of 18 years. Work assigned to such children must not be beyond their physical capacity, nor interfere with their education. From the age of 16 years, children in domestic service are considered as apprentices and must receive at least half the wage paid to adults for similar domestic work.
The Haitian Labor Code regulates the conditions under which foreign labor may be employed. Foreign labor in any Haitian establishment may not exceed 5 percent of the permanent employees, whatever the nationality of the employer. Exceptions to this rule are made in cases of proven necessity. The General Directorate of Labor issues special work permits to foreign workers, provided the employer can show he cannot recruit the specific skills from among Haitian workers and provided also that the foreign worker will teach his skills to Haitian beginners. These permits are renewed annually over a period not exceeding 5 years for a given worker. A special tax is levied on foreign workers, which amounts to one-half of 1 month's pay per year. These conditions do not apply to foreigners who have lived in Haiti
10 years, or who have married a Haitian citizen, nor to foreign labor hired under the terms of a contract with the State.
Variations in the enforcement of labor laws have been reported, but they do not necessarily reflect a distinction between native and foreign employer. The present Government has, indeed, offered concessions in the effort to attract new industrial and agricultural investment from abroad, among them major tax and customs exceptions for the first 5 years." However, foreigners may engage in commerce only in the 12 ports of entry of the Republic and the license fee required of foreign business is double that imposed on Haitian firms. Enforcement is more practicable against large enterprises and urban enterprises; nearly all foreign firms are large, and most of them are both large and urban.
Enforcement against the employer with few employees is practically nonexistent. Since this type of employer is by far the most numerous, it is probable that less than 50 percent of all the employees in the country benefit by the provisions of the Labor Code. The provisions of the code relating to agricultural workers are enforced only against the large sugar and sisal enterprises. No minimum wages for agricultural workers, contemplated by article 461 of the code, had been established as of April 1963. The provisions respecting homework and also those respecting domestic service are not generally observed. On the other hand, the exertion of special influence by employers to effect a favorable interpretation of the law or to evade the law is infrequent.18
With respect to work by Haitian labor in other countries, the law requires that laborers be provided round trip transportation, necessities of life including shelter and food, and medical care and hospitalization, all at the cost of the employer.
Many of the provisions of the Labor Code result from the 21 ILO conventions on labor standards which Haiti has ratified. In 1962,
17 Revised Law on New Industries, Le Moniteur, Numdro Extraordinaire, September 9. 1960. This law has not always been observed in practice, but its policy was reaffirmed in President Duvalier's message to the legislature on April 16., 1962. 18 The substance of this paragraph was confirmed by Dr. Francois Latortue, former professor of labor legislation in the University of Haiti, and former employee of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare.
however, an ILO report noted t' i. naJequcy of the provisions of the Haitian Labor Code for ensuring compliance with ratified conventions on hours of work, minimum age, sickness insurance in industry and agriculture, workmen's compensation for occupational diseases, and labor inspection. On the other hand, the report noted also the conformity of the terms of the Labor Code with two conventions on workmen's compensation for accidents. Haiti sent no delegation to the 1962 International Labor Conference, and apparently made no respon-e to the request to supply that Conference with particulars respecting its observation of ILO conventions.
Since the Haitian Labor Code was framed to protect and regulate industrial workers and wage earning agricultural workers, and since the majority of Haiti's working population consists of self-employed peasant farmers, only about 12 percent of the employed population-those engaged in wage-earning activities
-are directly affected by it. The high incidence of illiteracy in the work force makes it doubtful that even these workers understand their rights under the code. The industrial relations system envisioned by the Labor Code assumes that the parties involved are on an equal footing but historic patterns in Haiti do not support such an assumption. Collective bargaining is largely ineffective so long as unions are small, poor, and dependent on the State. Furthermore, the requirements of the code are too advanced and complex for the elementary Haitian economic system. Enforcement is thus left largely to the discretion of the Secretary of Labor who makes ad hoc decisions tailored to the specific situation. (See section on Industrial Relations.) Many sections of the code, therefore, such as provisions for medical care of all employees, for example, are merely a statement of desirable goals toward which employers should work.
Nevertheless, the Haitian Labor Code is considered by both management and labor to be a step forward in the field of labor relations.
Agencies and Tribunals Concerned With Labor
The governmental units directly concerned with labor matters (except labor courts and the courts which function in lieu of labor courts) are parts of the Department of Labor and Social
Chart 2.IADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND SOCIAL WELFARE
I . I
Welfare. The administrative structure of this Department, as described by the 1961 Labor Code, is highly elaborate. It embraces three units on the administrative level immediately below the Office of Secretary, 3 technical councils, 10 divisions, 25 services (one of which has 3 dependent units), and 2 semiautonomous organizations, viz, the Haitian Institute of Social Insurance (IDASH) and the Workers Housing Administration (OACO). As of April 1963, however, not all of these units had yet come into existence, as indicated on chart 2. Some units shown on the chart consist of only one or two employees. The 1961-62 budget for the Department called for 116 employees (exclusive of IDASH and OACO), or approximately 2.4 employees per unit. Nevertheless, the descriptions of the organization, jurisdiction, and responsibilities of these numerous administrative units together constitute a declaration of intent, which touches on manifold aspects of the organization and welfare of the working population.
Source; Based on,Code du Travail Francois Duvalier (1961 Appendix.
The enumeration of the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Labor and Social Welfare begins with a sweeping general statement of his obligations: "to watch over the freedom of work;" to ensure protection of the worker as well as harmony between capital and labor; to provide social security; to fight unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy; and to improve the living conditions of the working class.
The main subdivisions of the Department are the General Directorate of Labor and the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IHBESR). Also directly responsible to the Secretary is the Higher Wage Board.
The General Directorate of Labor, whose first organization dates from 1946, maintains a central office at Port-au-Prince and 10 regional offices in the 9 other seaports and in the town of Trou. It has three substantive divisions besides an Administrative Division. The Labor Division is responsible for the enforcement of
Units not functioning as of April 1963.
1/ The functions of the General Directorate of Labor have been performed since 1961
by the Under Secretary of State for Labor and Social Welfare.
21 These two s-rvices in practice constitute one section .
/ IDASH and OACO are listed as dependencies of the Division of Social Security (Labor Code,
Appendix, Art. 29)i; also as directly dependent on the Institute of Social Welfare, organizationally on a par with the 6 divisions thereof (Art. 27). Both have a certain measure of autonomy, and in,
practice depend chiefly pr only on the Secretary of State.
labor laws, and it maintains the Inspection Service for this purpose. Labor inspectors are authorized to visit places of employment at will and to inspect company records. Their reports of law infractions are accepted as factual unless proven otherwise in court. The Inspection Service, as provided for in the 196162 budget, had a total of 54 employees including the Chief. Most of these were administrative personnel attached to office headquarters, and less than half (20 to 25) were inspectors responsible for visiting places of employment. According to the Revue du Travail, this limited staff made 3,289 visits of inspection between October 1959 and September 1960 (1,870 in Port-au-Prince and its environs, and 1,419 in or near the 10 cities where regional offices are maintained), and reported 222 violations. The Training Division is responsible for apprenticeship and "the acquirement of professional capabilities" (formation professionelle). The Employment Service of the Manpower Division
conducts a very limited operation and has little more than a nominal existence.
The Institute of Social Welfare and Research has four substantive divisions in operation (besides an Administrative Division), with numerous subsidiary units. It is the agency which administers social insurance. (See section on Social Insurance.)
The Service of Family and Disaster Relief is charged with giving aid to needy families; helping victims of fires, floods, and cyclones; and providing financial aid to needy but intellectually outstanding students. The National Center for Commune Development has the responsibility of "coordinating national policy in the domain of commune activity," a responsibility which includes coordination of the activities of both public and private organizations, preparation of budgets for welfare projects within the communes, and administering the funds allocated.
Two organizations of the Division of Social Security, IDASH and OACO, enjoy a certain degree of autonomy; each is governed by a tripartite administrative council (consisting of representatives of Government, employers, and labor) which is appointed by the President of the Republic and presided over by the Director General of IHBESR. IDASH is authorized by law to administer work-accident, health, and maternity insurance; but it administered only accident insurance, as of April 1963. OACO, whose creation antedates the Labor Code by 10 years, is charged with the administration of a program of low-cost housing, designed for persons with incomes under 500 gourdes (US$100) a month, with residents' payments credited toward purchase price.
The Laboratories and Nutrition Division, according to the Labor Code, is to maintain a medical laboratory, a radiography service, and a dietetic laboratory, and to provide free laboratory tests and radiographs and other services; but this unit had not yet come into existence, as of April 1963.
The Higher Wage Board is a tripartite body consisting of two representatives each of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, of employers and of workers, all appointed by the President of the Republic. Employer and worker organizations submit panels from which their representatives are selected. The Department may institute local tripartite Wage Boards, which report directly to the Higher Board. The main function of the Higher Wage Board is to submit recommendations for minimum wages in commerce, industry and agriculture throughout the Republic. (See section on Base Pay.) According to the law, wages cannot be fixed at less than the "minimum living wage" (salaire minimum vital, Labor Code, App., art 39). These minimum wages, once they are approved by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, and published in the official gazette of the Republic, have the force of law. Management-labor agreements on wages below the established minimum are illegal. Employers who fail to observe legal minimum wages are liable to fine, and upon repetition of the offense, to imprisonment.
Labor courts are the subject of Chapter VI of the Labor Code, which authorizes the Presi-
dent to determine their number, composition, and scope of jurisdiction. Such courts, however, had not been created as of April 1963. In their absence, existing courts (see section on Government) can sit as labor courts. The law provides for free legal aid to workers, on request to the Director General of the Labor Bureau. Government employees of all categories are explicitly excluded from the jurisdiction of labor courts.
The proliferation of administrative units reflects the theoretical character of the Haitian system of labor agencies and laws. The labor laws codified in 1961 were inspired by international standards and many were based on recommendations submitted in 1944 by experts of the ILO in response to a request made the previous year by the Haitian Government. These laws are not the outgrowth of a long empirical evolution in Haiti; but they, and the administrative structure designed for their enforcement, show the thoughtful effort of Haitian legislators and of the framers of the Labor Code.
In its struggle to achieve stable public administration, Haiti has had to contend with extreme difficulties. From a colonial administration based on slavery it inherited no traditions or mechanisms of free government. Independence in 1804 was followed by an almost continuous series of revolutions, and le~riership much of the time by military men without administrative training. Since 1941, Haiti has had four periods of domination by military juntas, and seven presidents, all of whom, up to the present incumbent, were overthrown by revolution or otherwise expelled from office. Political parties have been primarily groupings around a personal leader. This circumstance, and the lack of a merit system, have tended to create a civil service consisting solely of the personal followers of the President. The stability of Government employment, therefore, has been subject to administration changes.
The dominance of the executive branch in the Government, and particularly of the President, is ensured by the system of prefects, or personal representatives of the President, in every ministry and geographical department.
(See section on Constitutional Summary.) The 1961-- 2 budget provided 492,000 gourdes (U$598,400) for 103 jobs in the Prefect ServicE. The administration of the current President is further bolstered by a civilian militia with police powers. Over 30 million gourdes (US$6 million)-26 percent of. the budgetwas assigned for the Army. Public administration is influenced by the President's power to rule by decree when granted full powers by the legislature, and by the possibility that regulations may change on short notice.
The total number of positions in public administration provided for in the 1961-62 budget was 13,830, exclusive of the Department of Agriculture and the Armed Forces, for which figures were not published with the rest of the budget. This budget included 3,500 medical personnel for Public Health, more than 3,000 school teachers and principals in the various branches of public education, and nearly the same number of elementary parochial school personnel. For the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, 116 jobs were provided, exclusive of the social insurance and housing agencies attached to that Department.
The State operates a number of public utilities and monopolies not included in the budgetary figures presented for legislative approval. They include an airline; ship repair yards; water supply and canal service; a national printing office; and monopolies for the distribution of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes, and for the domestic distribution of sugar and flour.
The National Bank of Haiti and the Bank of the Haitian Agricultural and Credit Institute also are Government agencies.
Government employment is highly regarded in Haiti. Quite apart from the possibilities for personal advancement it offers a shorter workday, which frees its employees for other parttime employment. For years, government employment has been the prerogative of an l1ite group, and it conveys an envied social status. With the exception of the few large enterprises in Haiti, it offers a higher salary scale than private industry.
The law provides for retirement of Government employees at half pay after 22 years of service. The pensions are effective only by Presidential decree, and are not automatically payable on retirement. In 1960-61, there were 2,353 pensioners. The list of the pensioners included in the 1961-62 budget indicate that many of them are widows of armed services personnel and not retired civil service employees.
Coordination with Haitian officialdom has at times presented problems for projects supported by international organizations. The Artibonite Valley project, partially completed with Development Loan Fund aid, had cost 175 million gourdes (US$35 million), instead of the 60 million gourdes (US$12 million) initially estimated, before the Fund suspended disbursements for this project in March 1960, charging waste and favortism.
Chapter VI. Labor-Management Relations
Before 1946, labor union activity was limited. For a meeting of more than 20 persons, a Government permit was required and such meetings were always attended by the police. In that year of political upheaval, the right of workers to organize was proclaimed in a new constitution in language preserved in subsequent constitutions. Politics soon intruded into the newly legalized labor unions of Haiti, Latortue observed, because the workers, for the most part illiterate, recruited politicians as secretaries-general or as delegates (Droit du Travail, p. 123).
The 1961 Labor Code (see section on Labor Law) defines the rights and obligations of labor organizations. A union may be organized either by trade, by industry, by company, or by geographical area. Unions can merge to form a new union, a federation, or a confederation. To be recognized, a union must register with the General Directorate of Labor within 60 working days of its formation, file a copy of its bylaws with the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, and report annually to the Department on its membership and the makeup of its executive board.
A duly registered union has the legal right to apply its resources to low-cost housing, health centers, press and radio activities, and the acquisition of land for agricultural production. It can create and administer welfare funds, laboratories, educational facilities, hiring halls, and cooperatives. There is, however, no evidence that unions actually engage in any of these activities.
The law requires that to be created, a labor union have at least 15 members, all over 15 years of age. Administrative or managerial personnel, and persons in exile or serving sentence for a crime are not eligible for membership. A married woman needs the consent of her husband to work, but she does not need his consent to join a union or to hold office in it. A minor between 15 and 18 years of age may join a union, but cannot participate as an officer. Management employees-directors, agents, administrators, subcontractors, naval captains, and others who function in the name of the
employer-can join neither a union nor a management group.
A union may call a strike or support a legal strike called by another union or federation. To be legal, a strike must be called by a group of at least five workers, conciliation and mediation procedures must have been exhausted, and a 48-hour strike notice given. A strike cannot legally be called for political purposes or directed against a public utility or the Government.
A union can be suspended by the Department of Labor and Social Welfare if it uses violence against persons or property, if it intentionally falsifies information to the Department of Labor and Social Welfare, engages in commercial or political activity (the Labor Code does not consider cooperatives to be commercial ventures) or "concerns itself with questions irrelevant to its purpose."
When a union is dissolved its assets may be applied to purposes set forth in the bylaws, be acquired by the federation with which it is affiliated, or given to a charity of its own choice. Its assets cannot be distributed among the membership.
By 1948, according to a Haitian authority, the young Haitian labor movement had grown to a membership of over 18,000 in 80 unions. Many of these unions, however, were no more than coalitions formed to rectify a specific grievance or for a special bargaining purpose, and disbanded once the issue had been settled. The following years witnessed an overall decline in union membership in spite of periods of resurgence, as indicated by the following tabulation:
1948 --- ---1949-- -1951 --- 1952 -1954 --
-. . .- .- . ---- 18,000
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -------- 16,000
-- 10,500 3,500
I This figure is derived from Haitian official sources; there is no explanation for the apparent discrepancy between it and the figures for 1955 and 1960.
These figures, the best available, are from different sources and may not be comparable. They may represent vaguely founded claims or transitory affiliation rather than solid membership.
The reported 1960 membership was divided among 20 unions. Seven of these, claiming a total membership of 2,000, were made up of Government workers. They included not only employees of the local government and customs house of Port-au-Prince, dockworkers of the Port Authority, National Bank employees, and teachers, but also commercial and industrial workers in Government monopolies. (See section on Management.)
If all of the 215,000 wage earners in private enterprise and in government (as of 1950) in Haiti were organized, union membership would still affect less than 13 percent of the employed population (approximately 1,705,000). Even of the wage earner group, organized labor at its peak membership included less than 10 percent of the total.
A few unions in private industry were organized along craft lines, as of February 1963. Most important of the craft unions were those of the construction trades (bricklayers, carpenters, and ironworkers), and of the chauffeur-guides who serve tourists. Also reported were unions of tanners, sisal braiders, lime burners, tailors, and butchers. Other unions were organized along industrial lines across plant boundaries: These unions included coffee workers, carbonated beverage workers, laundry workers, and hotel and restaurant workers. The majority of Haitian unions, however, operated only in individual plants. The largest of these one-company unions was the organization of the workers employed by the principal sugar producer in Haiti, with a claimed membership of 1,000. Both of Haiti's mines (the bauxite mine at Miragoane and the copper mine at Terre Neuve) were organized. The work force of a coffee exporter, a shoe factory, the American-managed electric light company, a flour mill and a banana exporter also were organized.
Union organization is concentrated at Portau-Prince. Except for the mine workers, very few have union headquarters elsewhere. The largest unions in private enterprise are those
in foreign-owned enterprises and, for the most part, comprise industrial workers. The single union of commercial employees was reported inactive in 1960. Agricultural workers are almost wholly unorganized. Sugar workers and sisal workers in the processing plants of these commodities are organized; the field workers for the greater part are not, although a Union of the Cane Cutters of the Cul-de-Sac Plain was reported to exist in 1963. The Federation of Workers and Peasants of Haiti (FOPH), in spite of its name, contained no other union of agricultural workers.
Several federations of labor have disappeared from Haiti, or have been reduced to a shadowy existence. The largest of these, the National Union of Workers of Haiti (UNOH), was organized in 1951 and had eight affiliates, including the dockworkers' and chauffeurs' unions. UNOH affiliated in 1953 with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers (ORIT). In 1958, its elected leaders were removed by the Government and went into exile. They maintain offices in New York and Caracas, and publish a periodical, L'Ouvrier Haitien. They are recognized by ICFTU/ORIT as the legitimate leaders of UNOH. In Haiti, the organization that includes the remnants of UNOH now bears a new name, Federation of Workers and Peasants of Haiti (FOPH). Four other federations have at least a nominal existence. These are the Federation of Haitian Workers (FOH); the Haitian Confederation of Workers (CHT) ; the Haitian Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (FHSC); and the organization known as the Union Intersyndicale d'Haiti. FOPH and CHT are pro-Government unions led by followers of President Duvalier. The former affiliation of FHSC with the Latin American Federation of Christian Trade Unions (CLASC) has been obstructed; Haitian delegates to the IV CLASC Congress at Caracas in November 1962 were refused permission to leave the country. No union or federation in Haiti today has an active, overt international affiliation, although the Intersyndicale, reportedly the largest of existing federations, follows the Communist Party line.
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, meeting in Brussels in 1959, heard this statement from the former general secretary of UNOH:
Item 15 on the Agenda, dealing with the struggle for trade union rights is of special interest to the Haitian workers . in Haiti the problem and the difficulties arise purely and simply through the negation of constitutional guarantees and from the total control exercised over the right to run a free trade union.19 A statement in an ORIT publication in 1961 to the effect that Haitian organized labor is under the control of a "classic militarist dictatorship,"20 provoked a rejoinder in the form of a manifesto signed by the leaders of all major Haitian labor organizations which declared that Haitian unionism enjoyed the most complete independence. In the same year, however, Dr. Latortue wrote in Droit du Travail (p. 135) that in Haiti the "independence of unionism vis-a-vis the State is, on the whole, relative."
The Government's right of intervention in labor-management affairs was strengthened by the Labor Code. (See section on Labor Legislation.) Moreover, the Secretary of Labor can refer disputes to arbitration without the consent of the parties involved; and he can suppress a strike if he holds it to be against the national interest. In 1955, the Government broke a strike of chauffeur-guides by jailing strikers and by maintaining transportation by means of official vehicles so that the tourist trade would not be inconvenienced. Since that time, the chauffeur-guides have become supporters of the present Government and are reported to enjoy greater latitude than other organized workers in their labor-management relations. After a political strike of students in 1960, most labor unions published statements expressing solidarity with the Government.
Labor unions in Haiti have no programs of vocational training, they exercise no control over the entry of additional manpower into given occupations and little, if any, control over the occupational qualifications of their members.
19 International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Report of the Sixth World Congress, Brussels, 1959, p. 453. 20 ORIT. Inter-American Labor Bulletin, May 1, 1961.
Although in some respects the Haitian economy is free rather than managed--e. g., free convertibility of currency, few licensing require. ments-the position of management is affected by a trend toward increasing Government controls. An official of the Haitian Department of Labor and Social Welfare, reviewing the position of employers under the Labor Code, observed in May 1961 that they are charged by the Government with "a whole series of obligations that are characterized by tighter controls on methods of production and a more powerful intervention by the State in the internal affairs of the enterprise ."
The Government monopolies for the distribution of tobacco, matches, essential oils, sugar, flour, and cement are usually limited in practice to the collection of a fee (in effect a tax) upon the distribution of these commodities made by private management.
Since labor is for the most part represented by companywide unions, collective bargaining is rarely on an industrywide basis and there is little pressure on management to organize in order to deal with labor. There are no associations of businessmen organized for that express purpose. Port-au-Prince has a Chamber of Commerce, and an International Club of Commerce. No local arm of the U. S. Chamber operates among the American businessmen in Haiti.
Disputes over wages, hours, and working conditions present the major problems of labormanagement relations in Haiti. Matters relating to job security, retirement, welfare plans, and training have thus far not gained equal prominence.
Wages were the subject of over half the individual grievances reported by the Conciliation and Arbitration Service for 11 cities in the period 1958-60. (See table 10.) Another 11 percent of the grievances reported in this period involved annual leave; the latter arose in many cases because of the legal prohibition against accumulating leave from one year to another. Such grievances come to the attention of the Conciliation Service when an employee is dis-
charged or resigns and wishes to claim payment for annual leave which he did not take during his employment. The Bureau has noted that workers often fear to complain about loss of leave while employed, "hoping thus to evade reprisals that would deprive them of work" (Revue du Travail, May 1961, p. 108). Overtime problems, the cause of about 2 percent of the grievances reported, are often the result of the employer's neglect to maintain clear records on base salary and payments due for overtime. In grievances of this kind, as the General Directorate of Labor has only the payroll records on which to establish overtime, injustices may occur.
TABLE 10. TYPES OF GRIEVANCES REPORTED IN 11 CITIES,1 1958-60
Subject of grievance Number Percent
All grievances .------------ 8,760 100.0
Wages _-------- 4,711 53.8
Paid leave . 937 10.7
Advance notice before dismissal
or suspension 813 9.3
Overtime -- 183 2.1
Night work 153 1.7
Other2 -~_--- 1,963 22.4
1 Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, St. Marc, Gonfives. Port-de-Paix, Jacmel, Jdr6mie, Fort Libert4, Trou, and Petit Goave. 2 Source gives no breakdown except for Port-au-Prince in 1959-60. For that period and city, the following additional subjects of grievance are listed: weekly rest (240), holidays (22). rehiring (7), and tips (1); but the "other" category (789) is 26 percent of the total for Port-au-Piince (3,034).
SCURCE: Revue du Travail. 1960, pp. 164-166; 1961, pp. 108, 136-137.
Nearly 7,000 work conflicts were reported in 11 cities by the Conciliation Service in the 2year period 1958-60.21 About 44 percent of these occurred in manufacturing enterprises and handicraft shops and about 20 percent occurred in service industries. (See table 11.) Port-au-Prince was the scene of nearly 46 percent of these disputes. Les Cayes and Cap Haitien together witnessed nearly 22 percent
21 The available reports of the Conciliation and Arbitration Service do n~t define its usage of the term "conflict" conflict) but it does net appear to be synonymous with "strike"; and it is differentiated from "grievance" (doldance) in their tabulations. These reports do not separate individual from collective conflicts. That the "con. flicts" were for the most part individual in character is suggested by the fact that, in 1959-60, the number of complainants (plaig.ents) was the same as the number of grievances reported. Hence the figures cited, which are the best available, are of limited significance as an indication of the dimensions of labor conflict, although they indicate the distribution of conflict according to subject of grievance and type of industry. (Cf. Revue du Travail. 1961, Joc. cit.)
of all the conflicts, and over 40 percent of those which occurred away from the capital.
The Conciliation Service reported in 1961 that conflicts brought before it "could often be negotiated by the parties themselves if they were well informed as to their rights and duties and if they approached their problems -with objectivity." (Revue du Travail, May 1961, p. 107.)
TABLE 11. WORK CONFLICTS IN 11 CITIES,1 BY TYPE OF ENTERPRISE, 1958-60
Type of enterprise Number Percent
All enterprises 6,735 100.0 Industrial (manufacturing) 1,355 20.1
Handicraft 1,595 23.7
Commercial .-------------------- 473 7.0
Service --- __. 1,279 19.0 Other -------------------------- 2,033 30.2
1 See footnote 1, table 10.
2 Source gives no breakdown.
SOURCE: Reports by Conciliation and Arbitration Service in Revue du Travail, May 1960, pp. 167-168; May 1961, pp. 138-139.
By law, a collective contract covers all wage earners in the enterprise, whether or not they are members of the negotiating union. A collective contract supersedes any individual contract, unless the latter is more favorable to the worker. In a highly detailed and specific way, the law stipulates 11 items which every collective bargain should contain. These include not only the stipulation of wages by categories, of bonuses and other advantages, of conditions of work, and of hiring and licensing, but also, where foreign technicians are employed, of rules for the operation of apprenticeship and professional training designed to make it possible to replace foreigners in technical positions with Haitian nationals. Collective contracts may be signed by more than one union or group of employees in the same business. If, however, one contract is more favorable than another with regard to work performed under the same conditions, the more advantageous terms will apply to all.
The collective agreement must be written in French, and two copies delivered to the General Directorate of Labor. It may be of definite or indefinite duration. If it is drawn up for a specific length of time, it cannot be for less than 1 year nor more than 5, but it is renewable by
tacit agreement in the absence of any stipulation to the contrary.
Over a 10-year period (1946-55) labor and management signed 60 collective agreements. In the year 1957-58, only two agreements between unions and managements were signed, but by 1963 most of the larger establishments had collective bargaining agreements with their workers.
The objectives of the trade union movement, however, usually are sought through legislation, and conflicts in labor-management relations are settled less often by bargaining than by law and by government intervention. Labor inspectors may, on their own initiative, refer disputes to the Conciliation and Arbitration Service; and when this is done, the parties cannot refuse government service. If no settlement is achieved by the Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the case goes before a 5-man Arbitration Committee composed of two representatives of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare and one each of management, labor, and the Communal Council of the commune in which the place of employment is located. The Labor Code provides that appeal from the decision of this Committee can be made to a quad-
ripartite Superior Arbitration Council (representing government, the bar, management, and labor). As of April 1963, however, the Superior Arbitration Council had not been created. In serious cases, decisions are made by the Secretary of Labor in what amounts to compulsory arbitration. The regard in which either the union or management is held by the Government appears to be the deciding factor in industrial relations.
Neither the strike nor the lockout is illegal in Haiti provided legal requirements with regard to conciliation efforts and advance notice have been observed. In Haiti, a strike seldom lasts more than a few days or a week or so, and, if no solution is accomplished, it may be called again in a few months. Strikes have a certain nuisance value but are an ineffective weapon except as a method of publicizing a grievance, since most unions have no strike or welfare funds and their membership cannot weather payless paydays. Few labor disputes result in strikes. Generally, the Department of Labor and Social Welfare settles labor disputes before they reach that point. The rationale underlying such intervention is that the Haitian economy cannot sustain prolonged work stoppages, but there is also considerable political motivation.
PART III. CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Chapter VII. Pay and Allowances
Categories of Employment
The incipient stage of industrialization in Haiti, and the predominance of self-employment in agricultural and handicraft activities result in little demand for standards for distinguishing different occupational groups, types of skills, and levels of capability and responsibility.
Except in a few foreign companies, there are no detailed systems of job classification. Distinctions are made only between obvious general categories, such as the difference between messenger and clerk. The oil companies in Haiti use the classification systems which they employ generally throughout the Caribbean area.
Every worker is declared by the Labor Code to be entitled to a minimum wage sufficient to supply his needs and those of his family. The minimum living wage is required by the law to be adjusted periodically to the fluctuations in the cost of living whenever the indexes show a cost-of-living increase of 10 percent or more in the course of a year. Although the code is categorical in these requirements, it does not indicate how to surmount the practical difficulties of implementation, nor specify how the minimum wage is to be determined. Only very partial and fragmentary official Haitian statistics on the cost of living have been published since 1959; those published at that time related only to Port-au-Prince.
The basic minimum wage for all sectors of the economy and all types of activity for which special minimum wages have not been established is 31/2 gourdes (US$0.70) per 8-hour day. This amounts to a rate of about 0.44 gourdes (83/4 cents) per hour or 21 gourdes (US$4.20) per week for temporary employees; and a rate
of 0.51 gourdes (10% cents) per hour or 24.5 gourdes (US$4.90) per week for permanent employees, since the latter, by virtue of paid leave on Sunday, receive 7 days. pay for 6 days worked. For employees paid by the month, the minimum wage is 105 gourdes (US$21) per month (3.50 X 30).22
The Higher Wage Board, which is authorized to recommend minimum wages (see section on Agencies and Tribunals Concerned with Labor), in 1951 and 1952 classified jobs in certain kinds of commercial enterprise according to kind of work, skill level, and seniority, and established corresponding minimum monthly wages. (See table 12.) These rates were still in effect as of April 1963. As of that date, the Board had made no more recent determinations of special minimum wages in commerce, and had published no special minimum wages for manufacturing.
Wages actually paid in various economic sectors (except agriculture) in 1959, as reported in an official Haitian publication, are shown in table 13.
Payment of wages either on a time basis or on a piece or job basis is. specifically permitted, as is also payment in cash or in kind. Payment in cash must be in legel tender; payment by any variety of voucher or token is expressly forbidden by law. Payment in kind may be in the form of food, lodging, or clothing; but in agricultural pursuits, land ceded by the employer to the worker for sowing and harvesting is not to be considered as payment in kind. The law also provides that wages can be paid on a profitsharing basis. If this system is used, the worker receives a prorated share per month, with an annual adjustment at the end of the year if the forecast of expected profits proves to be inaccurate.
22 Cf. Latortue, op. cit., p. 228.
TABLE 1". SPECIAL XMIIMTUM WAGES ESTABLISHED BY
.-E HIGHER VWAGE BOARD, 1951-52
Type of e-:tablishment Employees
Imported gr'eeries I Sales clerks.
Shopboys (porters) -Domestic groceries .--- Sales clerks rte.
Shopboys .--. --.-. .
Small grocery stores oAll Wholesale fabrics Sales clerks ShopooysRetail fabrics.---------Sales clerks ----------'Sh; boys Bazaars, haberdasheries. All regular .
Fi,st 6 months employed
7-12 months emnloved
Monthly wages (in U.S. dollars)
$30.00 21.00 23.00 21.00 21.00 45.00 21.00 35.00 21.00 35.00
Apr. 1, 1951
May 1, 1951
July 1, 1951
Souvenir shops. All ------------------- 30.00 Do.
sales ----------------All ------------------- 35.00 Do.
Agencies (distributors) All----------------- 40.00 Do.
Sporting and mechanical
equipment and accessories.---------------All regular.-------------. 40.00 Do.
First 6 months employed 26.00 Do.
7-12 months employed._ 35.00 Do.
Household items All ------------------- 30. 00 Do.
Shoe sales All ----------------- 30.00 Do.
Book stores, stationers_ Sals clerks ------------ 30.00 Aug. 1, 1951
Sho.boys --------------- 21.00 Do.
Pharmacies .---------Pharmacists----------- 60.00 Do.
Sales clerks --- --- 35.00 Do.
First 6 months employed 25.00 Do.
7-12 months employed I 30. 00 Do. Gaa stations. ll .------------------- 23.00 Feb. 1, 1952
SOURCE: Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique (Port-au-Prince, Institut Ha'itien de Statistique), Nos. 30, 31, 32 [combined], March 1959, table 73-2, p. 154.
The Labor Code makes provision for protection of workers against certain abuses which
might interfere with the receipt of their earnings. Wages must be paid in the workplace and
on working days. Employers are forbidden to
make cash loans with interest to any members
of their staffs. Any payments in advance can
ordinarily be recovered legally only by succes-
sive deductions not exceeding one-sixth of the contract wages. Workers cannot legally be
coerced to make use of stores or services maintained by the employer. Where access to other stores or services is not possible, the General Directorate of Labor is responsible for ensuring that stores and services provided by the employer are operated for the benefit of the workers on a nonprofit basis. Exaction of payment in order to obtain or to retain a job, in the form of a deduction in wages, is forbidden. A wage deduction made in order to compensate for damage to an employer's property is permitted only if the responsibility of the worker concerned can be proved, but the deduction must not exceed one-quarter of the monthly wage.
The Labor Code requires all employers to pay an annual bonus (boni) to their employees and workers during the last week in December. The law further requires that this bonus be not less than one-twelfth of the salary paid during the year, whatever kind of remuneration is involved-cash, kind, lodging, commission, or tips-although no device or method is specified for computing one-twelfth of payments in kind, lodging, or tips. Thus, in effect, a 13th month is by law added to the pay year. When a work contract is terminated before the end of the year, the worker or employee is entitled to a prorated fraction of the bonus in addition to any other payments due him at the time of separation. For newly hired personnel,
TABLE 13. MONTHLY WAGE OR SALARY BY ECONOMIC SECTOR (EXCLUDING AGRICULTURE) IN PORT-AU-PRINCE AND SIX NEIGHBORING TOWNS,1 JUNE-OCTOBER 1959
Wage or salary
Les thu. i'20 $20 to $49. $50 to $99 $100 to $149 .-. $150 to $199. $200 to $299. $300 to $399. $400 and over .
Not reported .
Number of wage or salary earners
Electric, gas, Transportation
All listed Mining Manufacturing2 and water Commerce and communica- Services
sectors services tions'
3,291 1,518 1,065 20 688
6,264 278 3, 171 52 1,868 47 848
1,991 120 733 128 786 60 164
729 93 185 30 357 30 34
314 22 71 16 163 16 26
269 18 55 10 160 8 18
108 9 27 56 11 5
81 23 22 7 16 6 7
4,482 4 2,106 1,505 34 833
I See footnote 1, table 5. SOURCE: Compiled from the Revue du Travail (Port-au-Prince, D42 Includes small handicraft industry producing tourist goods. partment de Travail et due Bien-itre Social), May 1960, pp. 101 ff.
STransportation and communication figures relate only to Port-au- and May 1961, pp. 120 ff. Prince.
the bonus is to be prorated according to the number of months worked. Failure to pay the compulsory bonus is punishable by a fine of 50 gourdes (US$10) to 500 gourdes (US$100). Some employers have felt that the adoption of the boni requirement was a back-door approach to a general wage raise, unrelated as it is to any considerations of performance or job stability. Before it was required by law, payment of the yearend bonus had been the voluntary practice of some establishments who had used it as an incentive and as an award for specially meritorious employees.
Miners who work underground receive 25 percent more than is paid to surface miners. Any underground miner transferred to surface work because of a physical disability, properly certified, continues to receive this differential if he has had 18 months of service as an underground miner.
The law requires that decent, safe transportation and/or shelter must be provided if the workplace is outside the city limits or beyond a reasonable distance from the worker's home. Migratory_ or seasonal workers, and some transport workers (seamen especially), must be provided with transportation between the terminal points set forth in their contracts.
Tools and materials are usually provided by the employer and the law requires that these be furnished in good working order and maintained by him. Damage to tools and machinery can be charged against the worker.
Employees of private industry below the managerial level whose duties require them to travel are few in number. The oil companies pay the travel expenses of mechanics and truckdrivers. For managerial personnel, compensation for travel in the performance of duty is customary. For Government employees, regulations usually provide travel allowances. Travel allowances are often generous for high level officials, and especially for foreign travel by such officials.
Pay Increases, Promotions, and Demotions
There are no prevalent formal systems for promotions and demotions of rank-and-fil3
labor. Practice in these matters is usually informal, personal, and traditional, unless it is prescribed by particular collective labor contracts. Seniority is not usually recognized, except when labor contracts require that for workers with equal qualifications, seniority shall govern promotions. There are no established formal procedures with respect to demotions. Demotions are rare, partly because they are likely to cause problems for the employer, including hearings before the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare. Most Haitians will quit rather than accept a demotion.
For supervisory personnel, some foreign companies have established systems with respect to pay increases, performance ratings, etc.
Pay Period Frequency
The Labor Code provides that pay periods can be fixed by mutual consent except that they cannot be more than 15 days apart for manual workers or more than 1 month apart for whitecollar employees.
Wage earners in unskilled jobs are most frequently paid by the hour, piece, or job. The latter two methods are employed principally in manufacturing and business enterprises. A few professionals work by the job, particularly. those doing custom accounting. Clerical and skilled workers are paid generally by the month, as is construction labor regularly employed by another kind of enterprise (as, for example, carpenters regularly employed by the mining companies).
For jobwork or piecework, whether performed at home or at the employer's establishment, pay periods are fixed by mutual agreement. Where such employment is expected to run more than 15 days, the worker must receive an accounting every 15 days unless the employer chooses to make payments on account. If such an accounting is not received, the law requires that the work be paid for within 15 days of completion.
Withholdings and Deductions
There are no provisions in the law for withholding union dues or for other assessments except income tax and social insurance payments. When and if all the provisions of the Labor
Code are put into force, workers will contribute up to 2 percent of their pay to finance sick and maternity insurance, disability pensions, and survivors' insurance. (See section on Social Insurance.)
The Labor Code allows certain deductions by the employer, up to one-sixth of the total wages or salary due. These deductions may be for advances against wages or salary, or charges against the employee for damage to tools or materials. The latter amount cannot finally exceed the real value of the damage or
loss. There can be no deductions to pay fines levied as disciplinary actions, nor can wages of under 500 gourdes (US$100) a month be attached for payment of debts. Attachment of wages over 500 gourdes a month but less than 800 gourdes (US$160) is limited to 10 percent of the amount due; over 800 gourdes a month, attachment is limited to 20 percent (art. 501, Civil Code). The law also forbids withholding from wages or salaries as payment of a recruiting or employment fee to the employer or his agent.
Chapter VIII. Hours of Work and Premiums
Hours of Work
The normal working hours of persons employed in any industrial, commercial, or agricultural establishment shall not exceed 8 a day and 48 a week, according to the Labor Code. The 48-hour week may be distributed otherwise than 8 hours a day, subject to a maximum of 9 hours a day in industry, and 10 hours a day in commerce. The normal hours of work for miners are 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. For Government workers, the law specifies a 40-hour week, but allows the week to be shortened to as little as 30 hours by administrative decision. Accordingly, the Government, the largest single employer, recently adopted a 36hour week for the winter months and a 30-hour week for the summer.
The Labor Code specifies that the normal workday shall end at 5 p.m. during the months from October to April and at 4 p.m. during the months from May to September. Every wage and salary earner is entitled to a minimum midday rest period of 11/2 hours per day, not to be counted as part of the working day. This long lunch hour is usual in tropical climates. A pregnant woman or nursing mother has a right to two other rest periods of at least one-half hour each.
Overtime is permitted subject to a maximum of 20 hours a week, but it must be authorized by a labor inspector. It may be prohibited in periods of unemployment. It is not permitted in hazardous or unhealthful jobs.
The restriction of work to an 8-hour day and a 48-hour week does not apply to establishments for the care of the sick; to hotels, cafes, restaurants, boarding houses, and clubs; to theaters and places of public amusement; to air, sea, and land transport services; to laundries, beauty and barber shops, pharmacies, bakeries, factories in continuous operation; or to grocery shops retailing essential commodities, provided certain conditions be met.
The limits on hours of work may be exceeded, with payment at the rate of time and a half for overtime, to meet emergencies resulting from accident or circumstances beyond the employer's control; to prevent the loss of perish-
ables; or to permit special accounting work. In processes which require continuous operation by a succession of shifts, working hours may be extended to a maximum of 56 a week, without premium pay; such regulation of hours must not affect the workers' weekly rest day. Agricultural workers may work 60 hours a week, 10 hours a day, "in case of absolute necessity," with payment for overtime.
Domestic workers do not benefit from any limitations on the workday or workweek, except that they are entitled daily to 10 free hours out of 24, a free "half day" of unspecified hourly duration per workweek, and an additional "half day" off on Sundays and legal holidays. Illiterate domestic workers may attend workers' education courses three times a week without objection by their employers.
Children 12 years of age or over may perform light industrial work, on condition that such work be outside school hours, for no more than 2 hours a day, and not later than 6 p.m. Between the ages of 16 and 18, the employed youth is considered an apprentice and his labor is regulated by an apprenticeship contract. (See section on Education.)
Employers in Haiti generally observe a somewhat shorter workweek than the law requires. In 1960, the average workweek was 45.2 hours in manufacturing, construction, commerce, transportation, and services. Recent reports indicate there is some sentiment favoring the adoption of a 51/2-day week, giving a half holiday on Saturday afternoon.
Provisions limiting hours of work (and other working conditions) generally do not apply to small family businesses with no outside employees, to administrative or managerial personnel, or to high Government officials.
Nightwork is legally defined as work done between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Such work is entitled to a 50-percent pay differential. When the normal tour of duty includes both day and night hours, this differential applies to the hours after 6 p.m. When hours of work are regularly at night, the work contract must
stipulate this fact and indicate both base pay and night differential. The Labor Code prescribes that nightwork performed on Sundays and holidays be paid at time and a half rates "without prejudice" to the increased payments prescribed for overtime work and for work on Sundays and public holidays. (See section on Overtime.)
Periodic Rest Days
The staff employed in any industrial or commercial establishment is entitled to a minimum of 24 consecutive hours of rest in every 7-day period. This periodic rest day is to be granted on Sunday if possible; and, with the exceptions noted in the section on Hours of Work, every agricultural, industrial, or commercial establishment is required to cease work on Sunday. This day of rest is a paid holiday for permanent employees.
Besides the kinds of establishments exempted from usual limitations on hours of work, the law recognizes certain categories of work which may by their nature be excluded from this Sunday holiday: Repair work occasioned by force majeure fortuitous causes, which cannot be postponed; technical or experimental work in agriculture or .industry that cannot be interrupted; seasonal or irregular work dependent on weather conditions; domestic work; and, in general, "work which is necessary to the good operation of an enterprise and cannot be postponed." Workers engaged in this sort of employment are granted other days of the week off on a rotating basis. Regular rotation in commercial and service employment must be arranged so that at least one Sunday a month is a day off. Overtime is not paid when Sunday is a regular part of the tour of duty.
Seasonal agricultural workers who cannot be accorded any days off during their employment but who, by contract, are entitled to periodic rest days, may accumulate this time and be compensated for it at the end of their employment, in the same way as for paid annual leave.
National and Religious Holidays
The 1957 Constitution established six national holidays (Ftes Nationales) and provided that other legal holidays (fites legales) are to be fixed by law. Certain religious dates are ob-
served as public holidays. Some of these religious dates were made annual public holidays by law adopted in 1926 and amended in 1931. This law also authorized the President by proclamation to select certain days to be observed as public holidays, but for the current year only, and not more than 5 days in any one year. Still other holidays are proclaimed annually by the President on his own authority. There are, consequently, variations from year to year in the number of public holidays, and in any one year there are a number of holidays whose inclusion would greatly extend the list which appears below. The inauguration of a president has often been the occasion for a week's holiday; for the most recent presidential reinauguration, the celebration lasted for 2 months. The Government exerted pressure on employers to pay wages, for the period of work suspension, to the workers who flocked to the capital. This kind of holiday is independent of formal statutory or constitutional authorization.
The following list includes both constitutionally established and other major national holidays:
National Independence Day 1 -_ January 1 Heroes' Day 1 January 2
Monday before Shrove Tuesday
(half-day holiday) .--------------- Variable
Shrove Tuesday -.-Variable Good Friday____ .--------------------- Variable
Pan American Day -----------------April 14
Labor and Agriculture Day 1 --------- May 1 Flower Day -----------------------May 2
Ascension Day . Variable Flag Day ------------------------ May 18
Corpus Christi -- Variable
Assumption Day ----- August 15
Day of National Sovereignty 2 September 22 United Nations Day ---------- .------ October 24
All Saints Day ----- ----- ---------____ November 1
Army Day: Anniversary of the
Battle of Vertibres 1 -----------------November 18
Anniversary of the Discovery of
Haiti by Christopher Columbus December 5 Christmas ------------------------- December 25
1 Constitutionally established.
2 In 1961, 1962, and 1963, this holiday was also observed May 22-24.
The Labor Codes requires that work on holidays, like work on Sundays, be compensated at the rate of time and a half, in addition to any other wage differentials that may apply. (See section on Overtime.) Such legal provisions
regarding holidays are not always strictly observed.
The law limits the amount of overtime and specifies the conditions under which it is permitted. It also exempts certain types of establishments and activities from normal working hours. (See section on Hours of Work.) In all other types of establishments and activities, any hours worked in excess of normal working hours are to be paid at time and a half, and recorded, together with the wages paid to the persons who worked overtime and the reason why the overtime was worked. This information is required in order to facilitate supervision by the appropriate Government authority. Overtime is calculated on the basis of the normal workweek of 48 hours. It is rarely calculated on the basis of the normal workday of 8 hours, because of the provision permitting distribution of the 48-hour week other than by 8 hours per day without payment of a premium.
The Labor Code provides that premiums of time and a half shall be paid for overtime, for Sunday or holiday work, and for nightwork, and that these premiums shall be "without prejudice" to one another. The authorized interpretation of this phrase, and the current practice in large enterprises, is that the time and a half premium rate is always applied to the base pay, even if two or three circumstances, each calling for a time and a half premium, occur simultaneously; hence, hours worked at night on a Sunday or holiday are to be paid double the base rate of pay.
Annual, sick, and maternity leave with pay are provided for in the Labor Code. After a year of service, every worker is entitled to at least 15 consecutive days of paid leave, including 13 workdays and 2 Sundays, exclusive of holiday or sick leave. The code prescribes that a worker who is entitled to annual leave but terminates his employment for any reason before taking it shall receive the amount payable in cash for 15 days' work. Furthermore, if a worker is suspended or dismissed or resigns for any reason before he has been in
employment for 1 year, he shall be entitled to a twelfth part of the annual leave for each month's employment. This provision was first added to the regulations in 1954 to correct abuses. Previously, because of the abundant supply of unskilled labor, employers were known to discharge workers after 11 months of service in order to avoid payments for annual leave. Any agreements providing for the renunciation of annual leave are void. Failure to grant annual leave which is due is punishable by fines of 50 gourdes (US$10) to 2,000 gourdes (US$400).
On jobs where the work does not proceed regularly throughout the year, such as those in coffee-exporting establishments, cottage industry workshops, and factories where construction materials are made, the worker's annual leave is to be calculated on the basis of the total number of days actually worked, including Sundays and public holidays, divided by 30. For every period of 30 days, the worker is entitled to 11/4 days' leave. In these calculations, months in which the worker was employed for less than
8 days are disregarded.
The Labor Code does not specify the time of year when annual leave must be given, but the prevailing practice is to grant leave during the summer months, sometime between May 1 and October 31, during Haiti's slack season.
Annual leave is paid at the base rate, plus the cash equivalent of any payment in kind. Where salary is based on commissions, or shares of the profits, the total profits are divided by the number of months, then by the number of days worked in a month. The amount calculated in this way is considered to be the average daily salary. This figure is to be multiplied by the number of days of leave to be taken.
The law provides that annual leave is not cumulative nor subject to postponement. The only exception to this is in the event of force majeure which prevents the granting of leave. Even under this circumstance leave may be accumulated for no more than 2 years. This exception must be stipulated in writing and authorized by the General Directorate of Labor.
There have been difficulties arising from failure to understand the provision against accumulation of annual leave. The General Directorate of Labor has noted that employees
often claim payment for leave not taken as part of the payment due on termination of employment, and feel aggrieved when reminded of the law.
The workers who are entitled to paid annual leave are entitled also to 15 days' paid sick leave per year. If the worker does not have a year of service, he is entitled to sick leave on the basis of service performed, calculated on the same basis as annual leave. To claim sick leave in any amount, the employee must present a medical certificate signed by the employer's doctor, if the company provides one, or by the public health doctor.
On presentation of a medical certificate showing estimated date of confinement, the female employee on the permanent roll is entitled to paid maternity leave, amounting to 6 weeks at full pay-3 weeks before and 3 weeks after the date of confinement. This maternity leave is required by a 1958 law which is still in force. The present provisions are to be superseded as
soon as the Social Insurance Institution (IDASH) inaugurates a mandatory system of maternity insurance. Thereafter, the provisions of articles 379-381 of the Labor Code will apply. These articles provide for 12 weeks' leave, to be paid by IDASH if the woman is duly registered with the Institution for maternity insurance and otherwise by the employer. At least 4 weeks of this leave should be granted before confinement and at least 6 weeks should be taken after it. The remaining 2 weeks may be taken at either end of the leave. When confinement takes place later than estimated, the required 6 weeks' leave after confinement cannot be reduced, although it may result in more than 12 weeks' leave. In the event of abortion or premature birth of a stillborn child, the worker will be entitled to leave of 2 to 4 weeks after the event. If a premature child is born alive, provisions for regular maternity leave will apply.
Provisions for all types of paid leave are the same for manual and for white-collar workers.
Chapter IX. Safety, Insurance, and Facilities
Health and Safety
Title VII of the Labor Code establishes minimum requirements for safeguards against occupational risks. Generally, the employer must not allow accumulation of debris; he must provide "sufficient" working room, light, and air; "appropriate" sanitary facilities and dressing room areas; "adequate" drinking water and eating facilities. Standards for determining what is "sufficient," "appropriate," and "adequate" are not specified in the Labor Code, which provides only that "all appropriate measures" for these ends in particular, and for a "sufficient" protection of the workers' health in general, should be taken by the employer in accord with the Labor Inspection Service.
The General Directorate of Labor is empowered to establish regulations defining the types of work considered to be unsanitary or hazardous and the measures which must be taken against health risks. There are, however, some general provisions to be observed by all industries.
Where protective clothing is required, it must be furnished, cleaned, and maintained by the employer. He must also furnish any necessary protective masks, eyeglasses, or safety belts.
The employer must maintain machines in good working order and if repairs are needed they must be made when the machine is idle.
In construction or building repair, scaffolding used more than 10 feet above the ground must be provided on each side with a guard rail at least 3 feet high.
The possession of alcoholic beverages or narcotics at any place of employment is forbidden.
Weights over 175 pounds may not be carried by one worker. Under all conditions, the age and physical condition of the worker must be taken into consideration. Exceptionally heavy objects should be moved mechanically.
It is unlawful for employers in industrial or commercial enterprises to authorize their workers to sleep or eat in the premises where the work is performed. The employer is required to provide special sleeping quarters and suitable
facilities for meals. (See section on Employee Services.)
Employers in agricultural, commercial, industrial, and other enterprises of any kind which employ 20 or more wage earners are required by the Labor Code to engage the services of one or more physicians to prevent any danger to the workers' health, maintain health standards, and provide first aid for casualties.
Wage earners whose employment is permanent are to be provided with health certificates, issued by the Public Health Service, within 3 months following recruitment. These certificates should show the results of chest X-ray and the Kahn and Seller tests for yaws and syphilis. The certificates must be renewed each year and be kept available by the employer for inspection by the Department of Labor and Social Welfare or the Public Health Service. The health certificates cost the employer 25 gourdes (US$5) per worker per year. Failure to observe this regulation is punishable by a fine of 200 gourdes (US$40) to 2,000 gourdes (US$400), or imprisonment up to 3 months, levied against the employer.
Minors and persons working with foodstuffs to be sold at retail are legally required to submit to periodic medical examination. Foir children these examinations are spaced at 6month intervals; for persons handling retail foodstuffs, such examinations are required every month. As a condition of domestic employment, the employer may demand a health certificate completed no more than 30 days before employment. These examinations are to be available free of charge at the Public Health Service, according to the law. In practice, such examinations are not customary, and there is no Public Health Service capable of fulfilling this requirement. (See section on Health and Sanitation.)
The work accident rate in Haiti is high, which may account for the specific and detailed health and safety requirements of the Labor Code. For the year 1959-60, the General Directorate of Labor registered 4,796 reports of work accidents. Over half of them (2,632) were recorded in the Port-au-Prince jurisdic-
tion, which is to be expected due to the concentration of industry in the area and since records for that city are more complete than for other regions. The next largest number of accidents (1,193) was reported at Fort Libert6, where the large sisal and rope plants are located. For the first time, the area around Gonaives registered a large number of accidents (392). The General Directorate of Labor stated that these were due mainly to the increasing activity of the copper mining operations. Accidents in agricultural activities were not included in these statistics.
In the same year (1959-60), there was a total of 33,280 industrial, commercial, and service workers in Haiti, according to the General Directorate of Labor. The national accident rate, therefore, was roughly one for every seven workers. This was, also, approximately the rate in Port-au-Prince. At Fort Liberty, where 3,178 workers were reported in all categories, 1 out of 3 workers suffered some sort of accident and at Gonaives, where a total of 1,015 workers were reported employed, the accident rate was about the same.23
The Labor Code assigns to IDASH responsibility for the administration of work accident insurance, and authorizes that institution to extend such insurance to wage and salary earners and day laborers in agricultural, industrial, and commercial enterprises.
All workers, including domestic labor, are covered by the workmen's compensation law, except unsalaried workers in a family business, the military forces on active duty, and the clergy. In practice, however, domestic labor is excluded.
Work accidents, as defined by the law for insurance purposes, include mishaps occurring during travel to and from work, provided no stops or detours are made for personal reasons. No compensation is paid for accidents resulting from the worker's intoxication, from a punishable offense such as rioting or fighting in which
23 These figures are taken from the inquiry on employment and wages for the Port-au-Prince jurisdiction, reported in Revue du Travail for May 1960 and May 1961, and the "Report on Workers and Enterprises in the Provinces" by industry, appendix of Revue du Travail. May 1961.
the victim was a willing participant, from attempted suicide, or from an accident which has been intentionally provoked. Otherwise, the law is not specific on the cause and responsibility for accidents, i.e., the criteria for determining whether or not they are work connected. Haitian courts have not always required proof that injuries are work connected. Instead, they have shown a tendency to put the burden of proof on the employer and to require proof that an injury is not work connected.
The cost of work accident insurance is borne entirely by the employer, who contributes to a fund administered by IDASH a certain percentage of his total payroll: 2 percent in the case of commercial enterprises; 3 percent in agricultural, industrial, or construction enterprises; and 6 percent in mining enterprises.
IDASH can require the employer to bear directly the costs of medical care and other expenses, if it can be shown that negligence on his part caused the accident.
All work accidents which cause a day or more of absence from work must be reported to IDASH within 3 days by both employer and employee. The victim of a work accident is entitled to medical care and to a daily compensation. Compensation is payable by the employer for the first 3 days, and by IDASH for the rest of the period of incapacity except for days when the worker receives his wages in conformity with laws on the various types of paid leave. Compensation is at the rate of two-thirds of the base pay for each working day, but compensation is not to be less than 70 gourdes (US$14) a month nor more than 1,000 gourdes (US$200) a month.
Medical care includes hospitalization and surgery, prosthetic and orthopedic appliances, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and all other necessary care. For these purposes, IDASH maintains its own hospital and clinical facilities.
In the event of permanent disability, the worker is entitled to a monthly income, related to degree of disability. IDASH determines degree of disability, taking into consideration the severity of the accident, and the age and profession of the victim. IDASH is authorized to convert such monthly income into a lump-sum payment if permanent disability is 35 percent or more, provided the state of incapacity has
become stabilized and "a guarantee is given to the competent authorities that the lump sum will be judicially employed." The code does not define the type of guarantee required.
In the event of death from a work-connected accident or illness, compensation includes a funeral grant, and survivorship benefits in the form of pensions in varying amounts to the widow, common-law wife or dependent husband, and also to children under 21 years of age or, if there are no children, to dependent parents or grandparents. These pensions are based on percentages of the annuity (up to 80 percent) that would have been paid in the event of permanent total disability of the insured worker.
The employer is required to rehire an injured worker within 15 days after his recovery if requested by the worker. The worker can exercise this reemployment right for 6 months after the date of the accident, if the job still exists.
Occupational diseases covered by insurance administered by IDASH were listed by the Government in 1953. Such diseases include:
1. Ulcerations caused by acids or caustic substances.
2. Anthrax contracted by workers who handle hides.
3. Ailments caused by X-rays, including cancer, anemia, and leukemia.
4. Tetanus contracted by sewer and dam workers.
5. Tuberculosis, but only when it occurs among hospital, clinic, and sanatorium personnel, and when the worker has been employed more than 6 months.
6. Toxic effects by dyes, chemicals, or lead.
7. Certain ailments caused by soldering or welding.
8. Chest ailments attributable to work with cement, cotton, jute, or resinous or silocose substances.
The Labor Code of 1961 is silent with respect to workmen's compensation for occupational disease. It does not, however, specifically rescind the previously assigned responsibility of IDASH with respect to such diseases.
Although the Labor Code provides for several kinds of social insurance, the only kinds in effect as of April 1963 were work accident compensation and the civil service retirement system. (See below.) In addition, the Armed Forces have an autonomous retirement plan.
Old-Age Insurance. In 1960, when the Labor Code was under discussion, the Labor Depart-
ment circulated a proposal for a social security system designed to cover all of Haiti's wage earners. It would have permitted retirement at age 50 after 30 years of service. Employees and workers would have contributed 6 percent to 12 percent of their wages; employers would not have been required to contribute. This proposal did not become part of the Labor Code. An earlier 1956 proposal failed of adoption, because of a change of administration.
At present, the only retirement system required by law is that applying to civil servants, who may retire after 22 years of service. Pensions under this system are paid to about 2,400 retired Government workers or their widows. Almost half of these pensions (48.5 percent) are less than 200 gourdes (US$40) a month; about 15 percent are more than 500 gourdes (US$100) a month.
Invalidity and Health Insurance. A system of health and maternity insurance is described in the Labor Code; but the General Directorate of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IHBESR) is authorized to decide when it shall become practicable, and in April 1963 it had not yet been put into effect. It is to be based on a contribution of 4 percent of the payrollhalf by the employer and half by the employed
-unless the base pay is less than 100 gourdes (US$20) a month, when the contribution is to be paid entirely by the employer. If the base pay is more than 100 gourdes (US$20) but less than 150 gourdes (US$30), the employer is to pay three-fourths of the contribution. To cover dependents, an additional contribution of 3 percent is to be paid entirely by the worker. Collection is to be made by withholding from pay and, if the employer should fail to withhold for the current period, he cannot deduct retroactively to cover more than three payments at one time. Any remaining delinquent contributions are to be payable by the employer.
Coverage is to be mandatory for all workers entitled to accident compensation (see section on Accident Compensation), and disability and survivorship benefits are to be handled by IDASH as accident insurance is now handled. Medical care is to be available for a maximum of 27 weeks with hospitalization not exceeding 30 days in any one year.
Low-Cost Credit and Mutual Benefit Funds.
Since 1946, about 60 credit unions have been established in Haiti. They operate under the supervision of the National Council on Cooperatives, created in 1953. Most of these are in rural areas, started either by the Oblate Fathers or by the extension service of the Ministry of Agriculture. Generally, they are not a source of credit for the urban workers, many of whom borrow against their wages with no effective protection against usurious
The Haitian Labor Code endorses for cooperatives the principles of free association, voluntary contribution, a limited rate of interest (not more than 6 percent), and a prorated rebate of any savings effected in transactions. It requires cooperatives to have at least 15 members, with capital made up of nontransferable shares with a nominal value of at least 5 gourdes (US$1) each; at least 50 percent of the total number of shares must be open for subscription. The law also requires cooperatives to educate their members in an understanding of their obligations.
The Haitian Credit Institute was established to make loans to agricultural and industrial enterprises. Most of its loans have been to industry; those that have been made for agricultural purposes have been applied to the purchase of equipment or land. The Institute is also the Government's receiving agent for reclaiming or leasing land in the public domain. It is financed largely by a special tax on coffee exports and a prorated contribution from sisal producers.
Staff Retirement Systems
In domestic industry, as distinguished from foreign companies operating in Haiti, there are no formalized plans for retirement. In such industry, the common practice is paternalistic; when a worker reaches retirement age, the proprietor decides whether or not to grant a pension, and in what amount. The foreign
companies, for the most part, have retirement systems for supervisory personnel only. The oil companies, however, have established staff retirement systems which include the rank and
file of their workers.
The Labor Code requires the employer to
furnish a number of specific employee services.
It provides that canteens or lunchrooms shall be installed in or near all enterprises, account being taken of the number of workers, the demand for canteens, the absence of other eating facilities, and other special circumstances.
Whenever suitable, it is permitted to establish communal canteens for two or more enterprises.
The law further states that restroom. shall be provided, particularly for workers engaged in "especially laborious work" and for women. The employer shall furnish at least one toilet for every 25 males and one for every 15 females. Sanitary facilities shall be separated from workplaces and maintained in good order. For employees whose work requires contact with toxic substances, oil, grease, or dust, the employer shall provide at least one hot and cold water shower for every six employees working the same shifts. These facilities shall be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day.
In spite of legal requirements, however, special employee services, such as lunchrooms, lavatories, information bulletins, cloakrooms, transportation, vehicle parks, medical dispensaries, and free physical examinations, are usually nonexistent in both small and large enterprises, domestic and foreign. A few of the larger foreign firms provide facilities which sometimes include medical dispensaries at which not only employees, but neighboring residents also are treated. There is a wide variety of practice with regard to the provision of transportation from place of residence to work site. Such transportation is provided by some domestic Haitian enterprises.
Chapter X. Employment Practices
In the prevailing small community atmosphere, outstanding individuals are known, and for important positions informal inquiry generally suffices. For other positions also, verification of previous experience and other qualifications is usually made, if at all, in a personal, unsystematized way. There are practically no special facilities or capabilities, governmental or other, for investigating the probable loyalty and honesty of applicants for employment. Private industry does not often resort for this purpose to the police or other government agencies, since employers are apprehensive that they will be required to give primary consideration to the political allegiance of prospective employees.
In hiring personnel, the employer can be represented by an agent, by a subcontractor, or by administrative or managerial personnel in the plant. The law provides that labor may be contracted for either individually or collectively; verbally or in written instruments covering work by the day, by the piece, or otherwise; and for an indefinite or a stated period. Married women are required to have the consent of their husbands to enter into a labor contract of any kind, and minors must have parental consent.
The Placement Service of the Department of Labor is the only organized employment exchange in Haiti, but its operations are very limited. (See section on Population and Labor Supply.)
Methods of recruitment vary. In Port-auPrince, most concerns hire directly without the intervention of third parties. Most large agricultural enterprises hire their own personnel, with seasonal workers recruited from the surrounding areas. One sugar producer recruits seasonal cutters through paid contractors who act as paymasters. Some labor unions take part in hiring activities, although no evidence has been found of limiting hiring to union membership.
Subcontracting work formerly resulted in
abuses against which the worker had no recourse, but since 1952 the primary employer has been held responsible for the activities of the subcontractor. Thus, the labor contract is applicable to relations between a worker and a
Work permits are required for minors under
16 years of age and for foreign labor. These permits are issued by the General Directorate of Labor and must contain information on the proposed employment-type of job, name of employer, entry on duty. In addition, the work permit for foreign labor must indicate when employment will terminate. Failure of an employer to comply with the limitations on hiring foreign labor is punishable by a fine of 1,000 gourdes (US$200) to 3,000 gourdes (US$600).
The Haitian Government permits the hiring of foreign labor in certain types of work (see section on Labor Legislation); but the Haitian worker himself resents foreign employees who often gain higher wages than he does, and the employer who brings in foreign help risks the hazard of this resentment. Even technicians attached to foreign aid missions are sometimes resented.
There is competition for jobs in Haiti, not for employees. One Haitian observer, Latortue, says, "In a country such as ours, . workers literally assail the doors of industry without finding employment. "
The employer is required to establish and enforce work rules when 10 or more permanent workers are employed. These work rules must be approved by the Department of Labor's Inspection Service before they are applied. They must be written in French, either posted in obvious places or provided to each worker in booklet form.
The work rules must follow the regulations called for by the Labor Code. They must also contain the disciplinary actions proposed by management for infringement of any rules peculiar to the establishment. The principal
limitations on disciplinary actions are that a fine cannot be deducted from wages or salary, and that suspension applied as a penalty cannot exceed 8 working days.
A labor contract may be terminated by the employer without incurring liability if the worker commits assault or uses physical violence against the employer or any of his fellow workers; uses threatening or abusive language or provokes a breakdown in procedures of the work; destroys or damages through negligence or by intent the employer's property; is guilty of absenteeism for 3 consecutive days; refuses, after being warned, to observe recommended methods for preventing accidents or to obey the work rules of the establishment; is sentenced to imprisonment for more than a month; commits a serious breach of his obligations under the contract; or claims skills he does not possess.
Notice Periods and Separations
Advance notice of either release or resignation is required by the Labor Code within the following limits: 15 days' notice for 3 to 12 months of service; 1 month's notice for 1 to 3 years of service; 2 months' notice for 3 to 10 years of service; and 3 months' notice after 10 years of service. The period of notice is not to be treated as annual leave. The worker who is separated is entitled to compensation in lieu of any annual leave accumulated during the current year.
These provisions are binding on subcontractors as well as on the primary employer, and are applicable to any permanent employee except domestic labor.
A worker may ask for termination of his work contract if the employer threatens or assaults him; if the worker is exposed to a contagious disease; if the employer does not provide the health and safety measures required; or if any provisions of the worker's contract are not met. If necessary, because of lack of materials or other conditions beyond the employer's control, suspension of the labor contract is permitted, to be followed by a 24-hour notice of resumption of work to which the
worker must respond. He is given 8 days to report again for work; after that his job may be filled by another.
For the conditions under which the employer may dismiss a worker without incurring liability, see the section on Disciplinary Actions.
The Department of Labor and Welfare rules on questions of termination or cancellation.
Grievances and Complaints Despite the legally established grievancesettlement procedures described in the section on Industrial Relations, friction in employeemanagement relations is usually dealt with on an ad hoc, personal basis, especially in the smallscale enterprises which constitute much of Haitian industry. Because of extensive unemployment, workers are not prone to risk their jobs by lodging complaints.
More formal procedures of a simple type are sometimes required by provisions of collective labor contracts. The Minister of Labor and Social Welfare has taken an increasing interest in ensuring that collective bargaining contracts contain such provisions. Whether a given conflict is subject to compulsory arbitration is sometimes determined personally on an ad hoc rather than a strictly legal basis by the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare.
Records and Reports
Every enterprise is required to register with the Labor Department if it proposes to hire even one person. The nature and conditions of work must be specified in this registration. Employers must keep employee registers which show identity card numbers, skill or professional training, dates of hiring, and subsequent actions, such as layoffs, suspensions, and paid leave, as well as. the nature of the work, wages, hours, and other conditions. With respect to paid leave, employers' records must show, for each employee, the date of entry on duty, the amount of paid annual leave due, the dates of any leave taken, and the pay received during periods of leave. False entry on the register makes the employer liable to a fine of 500
gourdes (US$100) to 1,000 gourdes (US$200). Failure to keep the register is punishable by a
kept when the health and maternity insurance systems are put into effect.
ne ot luu gourueus k~u LV) Lo OUU gourUIs Contracts, health cards, and employee regisUS$100). ters must be kept available for Government
The law specifies the series of records to be inspection.
The Division of Foreign Labor Conditions has also issuedTitle
Labor Law and Practice in Honduras (September 1961)
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