20 July 2017.
PICC members are like managers’ eyes and ears on the floor and the result of what we do is beneficial for both workers and managers. Our PICC is a very useful institution and as long as I’m in the factory, I’m willing to be a member of it”.
Port au Prince – Judith is the young mother of an almost one-year-old baby boy. Every morning she takes the bus for the 7.6km trip to work at one of the garment factories in Port-au-Prince. Her job allows her to earn a regular salary to take care of her son and other family members.
When she was younger, Judith was obliged to leave school just before the final grade. Money was scarce after the death of her mother and she started to sell Haitian street food to survive. Later, her cousin referred her to a factory where she now has been working for 7 years as a machine operator.
At the creation of the first PICC in her factory, she quickly understood the positive impact and importance of this bipartite committee. She became an active member of the committee. “I was inspired by the idea of such a platform inside of the workplace which provided many opportunities to make positive changes for me and my co-workers,” Judith says.
She has participated in training organized by her factory and also that provided by Better Work Haiti on topics such as Grievance Mechanisms, Workplace Cooperation and Communication, and Occupational Safety and Health, Fire and First Aid. Since she has been a member of the PICC, Judith has learned many skills which are useful in her work. She now feels that she can communicate better with her co-workers but also with management including discussions about issues in the factory or even complaints or requests from workers.
“When there is an issue or a complaint, workers can talk about it to us, the worker representatives on the PICC. We then can bring it up during a PICC meeting and discuss the issue with management and find a solution together. For example, there was a complaint from the majority of workers, especially women, about the quality of the food which is sold by the factory to help workers not having to leave the work area during their break. During a PICC meeting this was then discussed with management and they took our concern very seriously and addressed and solved the problem.”