The ongoing strike by customs agents entered its eighth day on Monday, March 12, despite warnings from the government that the action is harming the local economy. Leaders from the Association of Haitian Customs (ADH) said that the strike will continue until the government meets previous commitments made in October 2017. However, on Monday the ADH announced that it will form emergency groups of agents that will operate at the main customs office to clear and deliver critical items such as medicine, aid shipments, oxygen cylinders, antiretroviral drugs, blood bags, and the bodies of repatriated citizens. Demonstrations both for and against the strike are possible in the coming days.
All protests in Haiti have the potential to turn violent and can lead to transportation disruptions (due to associated roadblocks).
The strike was launched on March 5 by the customs agents to demand better salaries and a special legal status. Business owners have reported that the strike has had a noticeable effect on small businesses due to shortages of raw materials needed for production. At least six textile companies have been forced to close since March 6 and at least 47 workers have been temporarily laid off.
Individuals in Haiti are advised to monitor the situation and strictly avoid all protests due to the likelihood of violence.
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