I hope this isn’t true but word is that the United States is sending Levis and Hanes a wink and a nod by attempting to for Haiti to lower their minimum wage by 50%. Two years ago Haiti raised their minimum wage to 61 cents. However, to save these companies some dough United States would like Haiti to oblige them by being so kind as to make the new minimum wage a whopping 31 cents.
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.
And you wonder why the people of Haiti can’t stop from being poor. I’m not talking about government regulation of minimum wage. What I’m talking about is the corrupt Haitian government once again not letting the employees and employers work out their own wages.
And Another thing. Why is the United States attempting to be a mediator between a private company and another country concerning daily wages? Hanes and Levis are big boys. If they can’t handle the cost of doing business then they have no business in business. Will the United States help the small mom and pop business when Wal-Mart of Home Depot comes to town. No, because it isn’t the governments concern.
One thing I learned when I stepped on Haitian soil is that the reason Haiti is so poor is because the government interferes with everything.