WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap
WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap
By Robert Johnson / businessinsider.com
Aug 29, 2014

A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.

(This article was taken down by The Nation due to an embargo, but it was excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.)

It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:

This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).

Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year ... As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.

Thanks to U.S. intervention, the minimum was raised only to 31 cents.

These papers have come to light thanks to Haiti Liberte, a small Haitian newspaper with offices in Port-au-Prince and New York City.

4.0 ·
1
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Within Reach (2013)
87 min
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min
Trending Today
Born Sexy Yesterday: Another Gendered Hollywood Movie Trope That Needs to Die
18 min3,090 views today ·
AI Has Already Taken Over - It's Called the Corporation
Jeremy Lent3,081 views today ·
Dear Fellow White People: Did I Ever Tell You about the Time I Realised I was Racist?
5 min1,401 views today ·
How to Know When Holiday Drinking Is Hurting Your Brain
Jamie Smolen1,277 views today ·
87 Deeply Subversive Documentaries That Challenge the Status Quo
Films For Action1,146 views today ·
Why the Documentary Must Not Be Allowed to Die
John Pilger1,130 views today ·
Why Does Our Culture Focus So Much on Childbirth and So Little on The Time After?
Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett1,096 views today ·
Empire Files: A Massacre of Farmers in US-Colombia ‘War On Drugs’
30 min1,060 views today ·
Bitcoin For Activists - What You Need to know
Nathan Schneider1,026 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.

Join us on Facebook
WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap