11 January 2014
Haiti has become an apparel-producing powerhouse as global clothing brands like Hanes move factories there to take advantage of some of the lowest wages in the western hemisphere. But workers aren't benefiting from the boom -- a new report from the Worker Rights Consortium has revealed that every single export garment factory in Haiti has been paying workers less than the minimum wage. And as a result, three quarters of Haitian garment workers don’t make enough to afford three full meals a day.
Whilst two of Hanes’s competitors, agreed to meet recently with labor rights advocates and representatives from Haitian unions to make plans to pay workers what they're owed, Hanes has refused to join them.
This isn't the first time Hanes has been in the public eye for trying to keep Haitian workers in poverty. Two years ago, WikiLeaks revealed that the company furiously lobbied the US State Department to stop the Caribbean nation from raising its minimum wage to just $5 a day.
Factories exploit workers in variety of ways: such as refusing to pay overtime or requiring workers to reach totally unrealistic production quotas to get their full wages. On average, Haitian garment workers make more than 30% less than what they’re legally owed.
Hanes could help more than 3,000 workers get millions of dollars in money that its suppliers stole from them as it is the major buyer at several factories, and has huge influence in the industry. Instead, the company is claiming it hasn’t technically broken the law - another example that shows that what is legal is not necessarily what is moral.
Visit the sum of us website to register your concern with Hanes