One Year Back Pay, Rehiring for Haitian Workers Fired over Wage Protest

After nearly a year of investigation and engagement by the WRC, Centri Group, a garment factory in Haiti that supplies the Canadian apparel company, Gildan Activewear, has committed to remedy violations of its workers’ fundamental right to freedom of association. As previously reported, a WRC investigation had found that, in 2022, Centri Group violated its workers’ associational rights when it dismissed en masse 64 workers for participating in a strike over unpaid overtime.

In May 2023, after extensive engagement by the WRC and Gildan with the factory management, Centri Group signed an agreement with the factory workers’ union, GOSTTRA, in which it committed to pay each of the 64 workers who were dismissed back wages equivalent to one year of salary. Over 90 percent of the workers have already received full payment. The company also agreed to offer rehiring to all 64 of the fired workers within six months of signing of the agreement.

The WRC recognizes this important commitment by Centri Group and by Gildan to remedy the violations that occurred and recognizes the persistence of the GOSTTRA union in its efforts to vindicate employees’ fundamental labor rights. The positive actions taken by the employer, brand, and union during this time of severe political and economic crisis in Haiti are especially notable given the fragile state of the country’s garment industry and the vulnerable situation of its workforce.