Haiti Raises Minimum Wage for Garment Workers

Haiti raised the minimum wage by 12.5% for the country’s approximately 29,000 apparel workers earlier this year, according to the Associated Press. Under the law, workers who sew together T-shirts and other clothing will earn about $5.11 per eight-hour workday, falling short of the equivalent of $11.36 a day protesting garment workers have been demanding.

The last time Haiti’s parliament approved a minimum wage raise was in 2009, increasing the daily rate from about $1.50 to $4.50 over three years. It also established a separate minimum wage for garment workers who could earn as much as $6.81 daily if they met production quotas. Labor groups have said those quotas weren’t realistic.

The U.S.-based Worker Rights Consortium reported that Haitian workers receive an average of 32% less than they should. The organization says the latest increase is a small step in the right direction. “It means a modest increase, but it was a lot less than what workers were asking for,” Scott Nova, executive director of the consortium, told the AP.